Santa Clara County

Fostering Asylum Seekers: Bay Area Charities Helping Unaccompanied Children

As the crisis at America's southern border continues to escalate, one of the most stunning facts is the number of migrant children crossing the border alone.

The developing situation is also looping in the Bay Area. Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County is part of a program that houses so-called unaccompanied children who wait and hope for long-term foster homes through the Office of Refugee Resettlement.

Many of the children now being detained were separated from families long before they got to the border. A recently placed foster child named 'Cruz" said the waiting is torturous.

"It feels really bad because nobody knows how we feel there," Cruz said. "We are not animals like President Trump says."

Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County Director Angela Albright says the number of unaccompanied children at the border is already overwhelming. Agencies are now struggling to house those children separated from their parents.

"And when you have this influx of 2,000 youth coming into the program -- or they're not even sure what program they're going to go into -- it's caused a lot of chaos in the planning," Albright said.

For now, Catholic Charities is working around the clock to find and train foster parents. One foster parent who spoke with NBC Bay Area is raising a young girl rescued at the Mexican border as a "human trafficking" victim.

The parent organization of Catholic Charities is meeting with federal officials on Tuesday to discuss what more can be done for children at the border, and how agencies can assist the growing list.

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