Fort Worth Catholic Diocese beefs up refugee help

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by BYRON HARRIS

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WFAA

Posted on June 18, 2014 at 10:55 PM

Updated Thursday, Jul 3 at 5:34 PM

BROWNSVILLE -- The spare reality of border stations processing unaccompanied children from Central America was revealed as the Border Patrol opened the Ft. Brown station to the media Wednesday.

About 500 children from El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala are housed for 72 hours in the facility, which is filled to bursting.

Kids are segregated by age and sex. They get a blanket, a thin mattress, and a space on a concrete floor. They get three meals and a snack a day, and emergency medical treatment if they need it. A TV monitor tuned to the World Cup is their biggest luxury.

From Ft. Brown, some kids will be transported to Catholic Charities of Fort Worth, where the Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth has long provided refugee services to the government on a contract bases. It is one of dozens across the country who help by providing refuges a caring more comfortable environment that the Border Patrol can provide.

The Office of Refugee Resettlement of the Department of Health and Human Services funds the program. The kids stay in charity camps for a few weeks while their deportation hearings are arranged.

E-mail bharris@wfaa.com

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