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Dreaming of Rainbows in Future Homes: Establishing a Bright Space for Immigrant Children

by Illeen Henderson
September/October 2018
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Article Link: https://www.childcareexchange.com/article/dreaming-of-rainbows-in-future-homes-establishing-a-bright-space-for-immigrant-children/5024328/

McAllen, Texas, is a place very few Americans had heard of until a few months ago. Now its hotels swell with immigration lawyers, advocates, and caring volunteers who are signing up in droves. They are making time to travel to this American border town to chop vegetables, mop floors, sort clothes, and fill plastic bags with hygiene products.

As the asylum seekers released from Immigration and Customs Enforcement—some wearing ankle bracelets to track their location, some recently reunited with their children, all thirsty, hungry, unwashed, terrified, and exhausted—file in to the Humanitarian Respite Center, they are greeted with applause from volunteers and staff and welcomed in Spanish by Sister Norma Pimentel of Catholic Charities, the center’s guiding light. This amazing place is just what its name says: a respite, a place to feel safe and be cared for, if only for a brief moment. Within hours or days, these families will set out on long bus rides to continue their brave journey to find a safe place to enjoy the freedoms of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for themselves and their children.

Upon arrival, children are fed first. Scared, hungry, dehydrated children eat soup made that morning with love by ...

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