Tampa Bay area faith communities offer to host separated migrant children

Hillsborough County

Members of Tampa Bay area religious communities have offered to host the 2,300 children who have been separated from their parents by President Trump’s border policy.

The Islamic Society of Tampa Bay and other religious leaders made the announcement about their humanitarian program at a news conference on Friday.

The leaders said that so far, there are more than 100 families in the Tampa Bay area who would like to host the migrant children until they are reunited with their parents.

“It will be very much like the foster care system per say.. without the financial help from the government. this will be competely self funded,” said Ahmen Bedier who is president of United Voices of America.

The families have offered to host the children at no cost. The program would also pay for the children’s transportation to the Tampa Bay area. 

The faith leaders say they have received more than $1 million in pledges to pay for the children’s transportation.

“Our ultimate goal is to protect the children,” said Bedier.

He said the faith communities do not want to play the blame game when it comes to the crisis involving migrant children who have been separated from their parents.

“How did we get here? It doesn’t matter,” he said.

Bedier said he hopes the U.S. government will respond to the offer.

“We hope that the government responds well to our offer and takes us up on it.”

Nyla Hazrajee is one of the people stepping forward to host. She said, she would want someone to do the same for her child.

“This is not supposed to happen and it’s our job to make sure that it doesn’t happen,” she said.

He also said that local families who are interested in hosting migrant children can learn more by calling the Islamic Society of Tampa Bay at (813) 628-0007.

Visit the Islamic Society of Tampa Bay website here.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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