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Published on 20 June, 2014

Illegal aliens or child refugees?

USA (FH/MNN) — Arizona’s Governor Jan Brewer cried foul when hundreds of unaccompanied children were dropped off at the bus station in Phoenix in June, bringing national attention to a growing illegal immigration issue.

Photo courtesy of Food for the Hungry

(Photo courtesy of Food for the Hungry)

Food for the Hungry seeks to make stronger communities so the people don't flee from them (Photo courtesy of FH)

Food for the Hungry seeks to make stronger communities so the people don’t flee from them.
(Photo courtesy of FH)

According to numerous news reports, these children hailed primarily from Central America: Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. They, along with thousands of other children, journeyed through Mexico, deluging Texas until the system was too strained to accommodate them. They are now being bussed to other states.

Food for the Hungry works in Central America, including Guatemala.

The influx of child immigrants from the south continues to grow in recent months.

The children say their parents, guardians, local media encouraged them to flee gang and drug violence, along with hopeless poverty, by seeking refuge and a better life in the United States. Many hoped to be united with relatives already living illegally in the U.S..

People across the political spectrum agree that this is a bad situation. Not only are families being torn apart, but unaccompanied minors are undertaking a dangerous journey in which some have died and many, if not most, have been abused.

FH also works in areas of the world where hundreds of thousands of refugees overwhelm other countries, only to end up living in squalid conditions. Children are the most vulnerable in these situations, facing everything from hunger and disease to violence and sex trafficking.

Some ministries are working to address the needs of the children here in the United States until their immigration cases have been processes (more on that, here).

FH focuses on addressing the problem on the other side of the border.

They say a better solution than prompting children to make such a horrific trip would be to encourage families to stay together in their communities, and inspire communities to work together to create a healthy and safe place for children to grow up and thrive.

“We are working to transform worldview in people and give different opportunities to improve the income in rural families,” said FH/Guatemala Country Director Julio Aramayo. These opportunities come in the form of education for children, skills training for parents, and working with community leaders to provide access to clean water and healthcare.

When communities stand together to overcome poverty, there are fewer opportunities for children to fall prey to gangs and drug trafficking violence. When families stay together and commit to helping all children thrive, communities because more stable and prosperous.

You can help children avoid the need to risk their lives on a desperate journey by helping FH and other organizations to work with churches, leaders and families to improve conditions one Central American community at a time.

Pray that God would open doors to share the healing power of His love for these communities.

6 Responses to “Illegal aliens or child refugees?”

  1. This is heartbreaking. I am praying for the situation of these precious children.

  2. Children are children regardless of titles, Every child is precious and belong to God. It is a shame that some adults think otherwise. Where is the human heart and soul of protecting the innocent child?

  3. Calling them Illegal Aliens dehumanize them, which is the same thing Hitler did to the Jewish people in Germany. This is a humanitarian crisis, these too are CHILDREN OF GOD! It breaks my heart to read so many cruel and ignorant comments on social media. Some of those comments even come from fellow Christians, which is highly disappointing.
    This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you -John 15:12

  4. My heart breaks when I see these pictures. I am a retired teacher of non-English speaking children. I would go and help if I thought there was something I could do. I am praying!

  5. Debra says:

    Why can’t they be adopted? My family would be willing to open our home.

  6. LUPE says:

    I ASK MYSELF “WHAT WOULD JESUS DO IN THIS SITUATION”? THAT IS WHAT I WILL DO.

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Phone: 1-800-2-HUNGERS
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Food for the Hungry1224 E. Washington St.
Phoenix, AZ
85034

Call to action

  • Pray for God's healing power to address the violence in Central America. Pray for his protection over these children.
  • Partner with Food for the Hungry to address the problem at its root.

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