Multnomah County officials oppose and condemn any separation of immigrant children from their families on our nation’s borders.
As news emerges that some separated children have been transported to Portland, County officials have worked to determine if there is any connection to its contractors and what could be done to assist those youth. The County has four contracts with Morrison Child & Family Services, a long-time mental health and support provider in good standing. These contracts include mental health services for children and young people.
“I called Morrison CEO Drew Henrie-McWilliams directly to affirm that the County is not contributing in any way to this Trump Administration debacle,’’ said Chair Deborah Kafoury. None of the County’s contracts fund or touch the Morrison federal programs for immigrant children who are classified as unaccompanied minors.
“Henrie-McWilliams assured me that they are actively working to reunite children in their care with family members or friends,’’ the Chair said. “And we will hold them to it.”
Just last month, the Multnomah County Board expanded legal aid services to immigrant and refugee families so they know their rights, have better access to supports and legal consultation,’’ said Chair Kafoury. “We will continue to serve those members of our community who are in need regardless of the Trump Administration’s unconscionable actions.”’
Commissioner Lori Stegmann added, “I came to this country without parents. In July of 1960, I immigrated to the U.S as an undocumented baby. After the Korean War, hundreds of orphans like me were starving to death. Had I not been adopted by a loving family, I most likely would have died. That is something that weighs upon me every day of my life.”
She added, “I cannot stand by silently while hateful and divisive policies are implemented in our country. America is a place with liberty and freedom for all, not just for some. The effects of these human rights violations are shameful and quite frankly un-American.”