Funding Bill and "National Emergency" Update

Today, February 15, 2019, the President declared an utterly unnecessary and anti-child “national emergency” on our southern border. The declaration would take money from other departments, mostly from the Department of Defense’s military construction budget, on top of the almost $1.4 billion Congress authorized to build a border wall.

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Maddie Witters
We Mourn the Death of Jackeline Amei Rosmary Caal Maquin

The Young Center mourns the death of seven-year-old Jackeline Amei Rosmary Caal Maquin, who came to the U.S. from Guatemala with her father. She died of septic shock, fever and dehydration in the custody of US Customs and Border Patrol. We are heartbroken to know that yet another child died an utterly preventable death in our country.

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Maddie Witters
Young Center's Maria Woltjen, Chicagoan of the Year

Late this spring, when the news media began widely reporting that U.S. Border Patrol agents were carrying out an official policy of separating undocumented children from their parents, a public outcry erupted and activists sprang into action. At that moment, Maria Woltjen could be forgiven for thinking, What took you so long?

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Maddie Witters
An Update on Family Reunifications: Successes and Ongoing Challenges

Throughout the month of July, Young Center attorneys, social workers, and volunteer Child Advocates have helped reunify children with their parents after weeks or months of separation. Like in the case of three-year-old Aron, where our Child Advocate made it possible for the toddler to be reunified with his mother and released from government custody after a four-and-a-half month separation. 

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Maddie Witters
A Day of Reunions

Today, Young Center Child Advocates in three different cities helped to safely reunify toddlers who were unlawfully taken from their parents by the government. These parent-child reunions were the result of months of fighting for these families, from finding the documents to establish their relationships, to setting up phone and video calls, to finding family or community organizations willing to provide shelter.

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Maddie Witters
Airbnb Donates $10,000 in Housing Vouchers to the Young Center

On Tuesday, as reported by Crain's New York, Airbnb announced a donation of $10,000 in free housing vouchers to the Young Center in support of our efforts to reunify families. These vouchers will help the Young Center expand our network of Child Advocates beyond its current geographic scope, support staff when working on family reunification cases that require travel, and facilitate key training and strategy sessions dedicated to child and family rights.

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Maddie Witters