Action - 2 October 2018

en - The families we serve: LSA Family Health Service

LSA (Little Sisters of the Assumption) Family Health Service stands against family separation and for family reunification, as an organization that :
• Strives to keep families in crisis together ;
• Works closely with the Mexican community in East Harlem and with other immigrant families who sacrifice so much to make a better future for their children ;
• Provides mental health services to families experiencing the trauma of being separated from their loved ones in coming to this country ;
• Is made up of trained professionals who understand the fragility of a developing children ;
• Is a community of mothers, fathers, sons and daughters ourselves.

We urge legislators and government agencies to return the children quickly and prevent the toxic trauma to children that results from prolonged separation from parents. And we urge them to begin serious work on an immigration policy that is moral, just and human, and to ensure that this tragedy is never repeated.

What we’re doing to help
For the families we serve, immigration policies that result in families being indiscriminately torn apart have increased the levels of toxic stress in individuals, families, and the community at large. These effects are likely to have long- lasting consequences and intergenerational layers of traumatic stress.
While policy- level changes are essential, the services immigrant families receive through our programs, including a supportive and safe environment, mitigate some of the negative experiences of trauma and loss.
Our on-staff Immigration Outreach Coordinator continues to provide up to date information and resources to families. In the past year, over 1,000 people have participate in our Know Your Rights workshops, and over 400 people received free, on-site immigration legal assistance.
Our counselling and support groups give community members an opportunity to discuss their concerns and fears about immigration policies and the current situation at the border.
We are seeking speakers of indigenous languages in our community to provide translation help to RAICES, a Texas-based organization working to reunite families.
We will continue to mobilize our community to respond in any way we can.

“I just want to be with my family”

Melina González, LSA’s Immigration Outreach Coordinator, is currently in Laredo TX, volunteering as a translator for women detained at the Mexican border and their lawyers.

“I have only been in Laredo TX for three days, and I have already witnessed more suffering and injustice then I have seen in all my years with the immigrant communities in NYC. All I hear from these woman is, “ I want to be with my family !” As an immigrant woman and mother, I can’t bear the thought of not being with my children.
We are not allowed to show any affection to the women we are interviewing- this has been the most difficult part of my journey. I feel the need to comfort them, but I cannot. So I focus all my energy in my work as a translator and do the best I can to make sure all their questions are answered and that all the details of their cases are communicated to the lawyers.
I want to thank all you for your continued support and affection. It’s because of all the support of my family, friends and co-workers that I can be helping this group of lawyers to make a difference in so many ways for all the women that are detained in Laredo TX”.

Little Sisters of the Assumption USA