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Faith Community To Hold Second Meeting To Help Children At Fort Sill

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Executive Director of Tulsa's Metropolitan Ministry, Ray Hickman. Executive Director of Tulsa's Metropolitan Ministry, Ray Hickman.
Hundreds of children who were caught illegally crossing the border are being housed at Fort Sill. Hundreds of children who were caught illegally crossing the border are being housed at Fort Sill.
Each displaced child's situation, including long term safety, needs to be carefully examined. Each displaced child's situation, including long term safety, needs to be carefully examined.
TULSA, Oklahoma -

Members of Tulsa's faith community have scheduled a second meeting designed to help the children being housed at Fort Sill.

The Executive Director of Tulsa's Metropolitan Ministry, Ray Hickman, said some of the children will be deported, but for others it's far too dangerous to send them home.

With hundreds of children who were caught illegally crossing the border being housed at Fort Sill, Hickman called it a humanitarian concern, not a political one. So the group is working with members of Tulsa's faith based community to figure out how to help the children.

"The people of Tulsa are good people and they want to help these children, but how to do it is what is critical," Hickman said.

A public meeting held in late June, gauged how much support for the children would likely come from Tulsa. A second meeting is now planned for Friday, to begin developing a coordinated effort.

6/24/2014 Related Story: Inter-Faith Community Focuses On Emotional Well-Being Of Fort Sill Children

"Because they are undocumented immigrants in the United States, their status puts them in a very vulnerable position," Hickman said.

He said in the short term, the children need help with legal issues and emotional support. Longer term issues include things like the potential need for foster families.

He said each displaced child's situation, including long term safety, needs to be carefully examined.

Many of the children's parents paid for them to be smuggled under the false impression they would be given amnesty once in the U.S.

Safety is the number one reason.

"So that their children will be safer, than they were in their home countries where drug traffickers, terrorists and gangs are prolific," Hickman said.

Tulsa Metropolitan Ministry intends to focus on four areas: moral, legal, political and spiritual needs.

Hickman said the best case scenario is people volunteering to help meet those needs.

He said the worst case scenario is, “That the children would be treated as political pawns. They get caught between a rock and a hard place without understanding what's going on in the system, without advocacy and without any kind of support."

The next Tulsa Metropolitan Ministry meeting will be Friday morning at 11 a.m. at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church on Skelly Drive. The meeting is open to the public.

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