© 2024 Central Florida Public Media. All Rights Reserved.
90.7 FM Orlando • 89.5 FM Ocala
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Hispanic Federation, Orange County nonprofits call for shelters and foster care to remain open to migrant kids

Photo: Pixabay
Photo: Pixabay

Hispanic Federation and dozens of other immigration nonprofits and advocates are calling on Gov. Ron DeSantis in a letter to renew licenses of foster care organizations and shelters who cater to migrant children. 

Under an executive order signed by Gov. DeSantis, the Department of Children and Families has stopped renewing the licenses of some shelters and foster care organizations that cater to migrant children. 

Sr. Ann Kendrick is a founder of Hope Community Center in Apopka. 

Kendrick says this order could directly impact her nonprofit and the work they do with vulnerable unaccompanied minors who come from local foster families and shelters. 

"And a few of them are coming from, you know, from a shelter that's not too far not too far away. I am actually not wanting to talk too much about the shelter. You know, I don't want to draw attention to, you know, to, to the risk and the vulnerability of these children."

She's worried that this could leave unaccompanied minors in a vulnerable position and that they could end up victims of trafficking. 

"Absolutely these kids are vulnerable. They want to work, you know they wanted to because they need to make money they need to help support the adults that are helping take care of them. They feel a, you know, a debt to to the people that have helped them you know, get and be and be here and they're vulnerable. You know they're vulnerable they don't know who to trust."

CEO of the Hispanic Federation Frankie Miranda sums it up this way: “The children being cared for in these foster homes and licensed shelters are fleeing violence and natural disasters in their countries of origin. They have every right to seek refuge and await placement with their U.S. families and sponsors without being used as a political tool.”

In response to faith leaders calling on the governor to repeal this order, DeSantis said, “I want our resources focused on needs for Florida kids and the needs we have in our communities.” 

Danielle Prieur covers education in Central Florida.