CHICAGO (AP) — Cardinal Francis George said the Archdiocese of Chicago wants to help care for the tens of thousands of immigrant children gathering at the U.S. border with Mexico.
“The Archdiocese of Chicago is asking the federal government to allow us to feed and provide safe temporary housing for the refugee children who are being brought here,” George told the Chicago Sun-Times for a Wednesday report. “The many children on the Mexico-U.S. border who are in danger and without adequate shelter call for a compassionate and merciful response.”
The Border Patrol says 57,525 unaccompanied children have been apprehended at the border in recent months.
“We need to protect these abandoned children,” said the 77-year-old George, who is the spiritual leader of the Chicago-area’s more than 2 million Roman Catholics.
The cardinal’s spokeswoman, Colleen Dolan, said the archdiocese is working on an application to the U.S. Health and Human Services Department to ask to care for the children. Dolan said the archdiocese will find out after the Aug. 6 deadline if they are approved.