One lawyer in Erie explains the next steps for the migrant children that have arrived in Erie as of Tuesday night.
The 146 migrant children that traveled from the U.S. and Mexico border are now housed at Pennsylvania International Academy in Erie and are still awaiting the next steps on what the next legal steps are for the children.
“The next step is to find a relative in America, which is not going to happen I don’t think. Secondly reunification to find their parent which is very important. And three, determine status,” said Anthony Andrezeski.
Andrezeski said in order to determine the status of the children, there needs to be a compelling need to be here.
“What I think everybody is waiting for is the Biden administration to say either we are going to change the rules, we are going to modify the rules, or ask for a blanket asylum, or in the end what they’ve been doing is sending them back.” Andrezeski said.
According to a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services representative, If the children cannot get in touch with a family member, the case worker will identify a sponsor for the children, which could be a volunteer or anyone.
“Sponsors are asked to fill out a form releasing all information. They are fingerprinted and they are interviewed just to make sure the child is put in a safe, family atmosphere,” said Trish Danner, Public Information Officer at HHS.
With Pennsylvania International Academy being an emergency use site, Erie might be expecting more migrant children in the near future.
“I’m sure they will be because we have the capacity to have so many more kids here. The capacity is like 548, but we’ll probably stay under 500 just so the kids aren’t crowded,” Danner said.
“I feel sorry for them. They are children and I think we all have to remember that they are children and they are children who don’t have their parents around,” said Andrezeski.
Danner said that there is still no dates on when to expect the next group of migrant children, but it is in the works.