Mayor Bill de Blasio gave an update Monday on the number of separated migrant children living in the city and the difficulties in trying to reunite them with their parents.
Three nonprofits in the Bronx and East Harlem are currently taking care of about 300 children and placing them in foster homes, according to the mayor.
Although he said the nonprofits are trying to get them back to their relatives following the Trump administration’s executive order last week that rescinded the separations, the city hasn’t received any information or guidance from the federal government on the process.
“There was no game plan for reuniting these kids with their families, and no plan for getting legal representation for their parents,” de Blasio said.
The mayor said the children mostly hailed from Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras, and most didn’t have relatives on the East Coast. He said the number could be higher, as federal officials are still “ignoring” his office’s request for data.
In the meantime, the city is providing the foster agencies with resources to help them deal with any mental health issues the separated kids might be facing. He also recommended that New Yorkers donate to legal funds that are helping to reunite the children and call 311 if they have any interest in being a foster parent for them.
“There is definitely an additional need for foster parents here in the city,” he said.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo also announced that the state will provide additional resources to foster care facilities that are taking care of the children, including additional social workers who specialize in mental health. He called on the federal government to give New York the data on the number of children who have been sent here from the border.
“The Trump Administration’s separation of immigrant families is either an historic example of gross incompetence of government or a political tactic that would make Machiavelli blush,” Cuomo said in a statement.