National Hispanic Heritage Month QC Kick-Off Event to Focus on Migrant Children

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Scott County Supervisor Ken Croken today called upon all Quad Citizens of “goodwill and conscience” to take time on September 15 to remember migrant children at the U.S.-Mexican border traumatized by their separation from parents and families under the U.S. “zero tolerance” policy. “For more than 50 years, America has designated September 15 through October 15 as National Hispanic Heritage Month as a time to acknowledge the countless contributions of Latino Americans to our nation,” Croken said.  “This year, sadly, we also must acknowledge the devastating levels of trauma inflicted on Hispanic children separated from their parents at our southern border.”

Croken spoke in reference to a report released on September 4 by the Office of the Office of the Inspector General at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  “According to the report, children – thousands of them – have suffered grievously by forced separation from their parents under this Administration’s failed immigration policy,” Croken said.  “Moreover, appropriate care and treatment of these children has been made significantly less likely by underfunding and dramatically more complicated by extreme fear, an overwhelming sense of abandonment and crippling post-traumatic stress symptoms.  Child psychiatrists who interviewed migrant children for the report suggest that many may never recover,” Croken explained.”

In response to the report, Croken has organized a fundraising campaign in support of RAICES, a non-profit agency based in Texas that provides free and low-cost legal services to underserved immigrant children, families, and refugees.  Croken, himself an attorney, will be volunteering with RAICES at the Karnes City (Texas) Detention Center in early November. Croken said: “Migrant detainees are victimized routinely by a lack of representation and understanding of American legal procedure.  RAICES and hundreds of attorney volunteers from across the country are working tirelessly and without compensation to help safeguard migrant human rights and legal protections.

The highlight of the campaign will be a family-friendly event co-hosted by Quad Cities River Bandits owner Dave Heller at Modern Woodmen Park on September 15.  “Dave Heller has earned his reputation as an advocate for children by his many years of tireless support for local charities and causes,” Croken said. “His compassion for children does not stop at the county line.  I’m proud to call him my friend and I thank him for his support.”

As a kick-off to National Hispanic Heritage Month 2019 the community is invited to come to Modern Woodmen Park on September 15 from 3 until 5 p.m.to enjoy unlimited amusement rides on the Ferris wheel, roller coaster, kiddy train, carousel and other attractions for a donation of $5/person.  There also will be $2 “meal deals” offered consisting of a hot dog and small drink as well as a larger menu of discounted food and snacks to enjoy.

All profits will benefit RAICES child protection legal services. No advance tickets are required.  The public also is invited to learn more about RAICES and/or donate directly at the organization’s website: www.raicestexas.org

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