KidsPeace has been confirmed as one of dozens of agencies across the nation providing temporary shelter for Unaccompanied Alien Children or UAC.
A spokesperson for KidsPeace in Bethlehem confirms that they have been awarded a federal grant and are taking part in a program to help unaccompanied minors but are not allowed to comment any further.
Instead, all questions have been directed to the Office of Refugee and Resettlement, an arm of the US department of Health and Human Services based in Washington DC.
In response to our email, a spokesman says:
“The impact of these shelters on the local community is minimal. HHS pays for and provides all services for the children through its network of grantees. This includes providing food, clothing, education and medical screening to the children. Children spend less than 30 days on average at the shelters and do not integrate into the local community. They remain under staff supervision at all times.”
However, Ronnie DelBacco, Chairman of the Lehigh Valley Tea Party says such programs only further the problem by encouraging illegal immigration.
“By not deporting those who come here illegally and break our laws in the first place, it sends a message to the rest of the of the world 'yes you can break the laws of the United States and we'll let you stay. Not only will we let you stay we'll feed you, we'll clothe you, we'll educate you, and we'll give you everything you need' and that's not just the way it happens,” said DelBacco.
DelBacco says The Lehigh Valley Tea Party is planning a protest in front of the KidsPeace in Bethlehem on Sunday at 11am to bring more attention to the problem.
“These kids are going to be going through our court systems and into our foster homes and so we decided the protest should be there in front of a participating agency who's helping continue the process of allowing illegal immigration,” he said.