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Bilingual Hotline Opens For Immigrant Children

Immigrant Child Hotline
(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, Pool)
Boys try to make calls at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Nogales Placement Center in Nogales, Ariz. Hundreds of mostly Central American immigrant children are being processed and held at the center.

Central American parents looking for children that crossed the United States border illegally now have a new tool. The federal government has started a bilingual hotline.

The hotline is for parents trying to find out if their children were detained crossing into United States. The Office of Refugee Resettlement started it amid a surge in the number of Central American children arriving at the Texas border. The kids have been getting sent to shelters in Arizona as the government tries to find the resources to process them.

The hotline is open daily from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. eastern.

Central American kids are coming to the U.S. alone. They’re fleeing violence and coming north because they think U.S. policies will let them stay in the country. Many will be reunited with a relative or other sponsor in the states while their deportation proceedings move forward in immigration court.

The government also announced recently it would recruit lawyers to help with child-migrant cases.

KJZZ News Director Peter O’Dowd finds something alluring about Phoenix and public radio, as if they have always been a part of his destiny.O'Dowd, who oversees all daily editorial direction of the KJZZ newsroom, took on the role of news director in February 2011, after serving as an assignment editor and reporter for the station since 2009.