NEW YORK, NY, JULY 3, 2018 – New York City government agencies today announced that they are providing a range of specific services to help the estimated 300 children who were separated from their parents at the border and brought to the City under the federal government’s immigration policy.


The separated children are in New York City under the jurisdiction of the federal government, which contracts with nonprofit agencies to provide them with care. Most of the separated children are living in foster homes around New York City, and they receive education, recreation, and health care services in the daytime at the nonprofit agencies. The federal system is completely separate from the City’s child welfare system – but City officials said they are doing everything possible to ensure the children are being properly cared for while they are here. As a result, several City agencies today announced services that the City is now providing, including mental health care for the children, trauma training for the foster parents and staff working with them, legal assistance, recreational activities, and more.


“We’ve visited some of the facilities where these kids get services, and we’ve seen children who range in age from infants to teenagers. They’re resilient, but they’re also frightened, confused, and in some cases clearly traumatized. While these children are under the care and legal responsibility of the federal government, they are in New York City now and we are doing everything in our power to make sure they are safe and healthy,” said David A. Hansell, Commissioner of NYC’s Administration for Children’s Services. “We have extensive experience working with children in the City’s child welfare system who have experienced trauma, and we’re announcing an array of much-needed services now being provided to those children who were separated as a result of this heartless federal immigration policy.”


The specific support and services that City agencies are now providing to help children who were separated from their parents because of the federal policy include:

·         On-site child and adolescent psychiatric consultation services to agency mental health staff caring for the children

·         Health care for children at public hospitals citywide, through expedited referrals and a 24-hour hotline

·         Training for foster parents and staff at the nonprofit agencies working with children, on how to work with young people who have been through severe trauma, through in-person training sessions and online training that parents can take at home

·         Legal assistance to connect children and their potential sponsors to legal service organizations

·         Parenting coaching for teenage mothers who were separated from their adult mothers and are with infants they may need help and support to care for, through weekly group classes and one-on-one follow-up

·         Toys and art supplies, including teddy bears, soccer balls, children’s books, and paint

·         Weekly field trips to educational and cultural institutions in the city, including museums and zoos

·         Increased security at day facilities and during transportation from intake centers to foster homes, through specialized NYPD patrols

The Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs is coordinating the citywide response, and the Administration for Children’s Services, Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, NYC Health + Hospitals, the Human Resources Administration, Department of Parks and Recreation, and Department of Cultural Affairs are all providing expertise and services. The services the City is providing are open-ended, since it is not clear how long the separated children will be in New York City.


The nonprofit agencies that are contracted by the federal government to provide care to separated children have worked for years with children who come to the United States unaccompanied, and over the last couple of months they report that they began to see children who were separated from their parents at the border. The particular agencies serving children in New York City also have separate contracts with ACS to provide care to children in the City’s child welfare system.


“The City stepped up to support children who were separated from their parents, while the Trump Administration tried to keep us in the dark,” said Sonia Lin, General Counsel and Policy Director at the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs. “Immigrant families need the help of trusted legal services, and thanks to Mayor de Blasio’s unprecedented investment, we’re offering these children and potential sponsors free legal help. Children deserve our support and I am proud to work with our sister agencies to make sure these kids get that support.”


“We are firmly committed to help these children cope with the physical and mental trauma brought about by this wrenching experience,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett. “The Health Department is leveraging resources to train the center’s staff and foster families so that they can best support the children’s emotional and social needs. We still don’t know how long it will take for these families to be reunited, but we will continue to do everything in our power to provide compassionate care and support like for all the children in our great city."


“We are pleased to bring our specialized child and adolescent health expertise to provide care for the children, as well as support and training for their everyday caregivers,” said Dr. Machelle Allen, Chief Medical Officer, NYC Health + Hospitals. “The needs of children separated from their families can be complex, and helping them as soon as they need it can minimize the potential long-term health impact.”

Contact: mediainquiry@acs.nyc.gov


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                  

July 2, 2018




WASHINGTON, DC – Following the implementation of President Trump’s executive order to alleviate the separation of migrant children from their families at our southern border, New York Representatives Yvette D. Clarke, Nydia M. Velázquez, José E. Serrano, Gregory W. Meeks, Hakeem Jeffries, and Grace Meng sent a letter to the Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Health and Human Services, and the Department of Justice.


While the Trump Administration recently issued Executive Order 13841 to purportedly end its inhumane child separation policy, this new executive order means that private prison contractors will still be profiting off of the suffering of immigrant children. This creates perverse incentives for private firms to engage in practices that will leave children worse off.


In a letter sent today, Clarke and the other members said, in part:


“This executive order was issued following the Administration’s decision to separate migrant children from their families and justified as a way of ending an inhumane policy that was roundly rejected by the American people. Unfortunately, Executive Order 13841 was not based on compassion for migrant children fleeing violence, but instead defeats our mission as a nation of immigrants. As a result of this executive order, migrant children will now potentially be detained with their families in private prison facilities indefinitely, inflicting unnecessary emotional pain and suffering against their entire family units in contradiction to our most basic human values.”


“Yet, this executive order is not self-executing. Instead, it relies on your Agencies and the support of a myriad collection of private prison contractors who stand to benefit financially off the perpetual suffering of migrant children. According to a June 21, 2018 article from CBS News, at least five federal contractors will receive hundreds of millions of dollars to help implement this Administration’s unethical detention and removal policies. In contrast, corporations such as American Airlines have bravely asked your Administration to refrain from using their services to transport children thousands of miles away from their parents.”


The Members pointed to the perverse financial incentives reaped by profiting from the suffering of others as need for strong congressional oversight in the matter.


CONTACT: Christine Bennett,





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