After the publication of a recent School Library Journal article, I had the pleasure of speaking with three members of ALA’s REFORMA about the group’s Children in Crisis Project. Oralia Garza de Cortes and Patrick Sullivan spearheaded the project and we were also joined by Silvia Cisneros, current REFORMA President. Cisneros had made a donation drop off at the McAllen, TX detention center on September 10th.
I asked the trio about how easy is it to make a donation or offer support to the refugee children being held in these centers. All of them very quickly noted the level of difficulty; contracted defense workers will not allow the general public any individual contact with the children. Health and Human Services are allowed to accept two types of donations: blankets and books. As library workers we know the benefit of personal touch, but at the centers this is not an option. Cisneros notes that during her drop-off visit she delivered 225 books and these were received by Border Patrol Processing. A second donation drop-off occurred on October 17th at the Karnes City, TX distribution center.