Several New Jersey organizations are working to assist an estimated 1,500 unaccompanied immigrant children who have been picked up entering the United States illegally in recent months.
The Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families announced Thursday that 1,504 unaccompanied children have been placed in the state from Jan. 1 through July 7. A total of 30,340 have been placed nationwide.
Immigration advocacy groups who have been assisting the children, including Catholic Charities and the American Friends Service Committee, say the majority of placements in New Jersey have been with the children’s parents or relatives.
Advocates say unaccompanied minors intercepted by U.S. immigration officials at the Mexico border are released from detention to the care of a relative or a guardian who passes the required screening.