More than 130 unaccompanied migrant children have been sent this year from the U.S. southern border to southwestern Minnesota’s Nobles County. That’s a high count for a small county, and it’s creating challenges in the Worthington area to help those new arrivals.
Children who cross the southern border and are taken into custody have two options as they await a court date. They can go to a children’s shelter overseen by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services or they can stay with a sponsor if one’s available.
Getting the kids enrolled in school is especially important, Worthington immigration attorney Erin Schutte Wadzinski said Monday in a conversation with MPR News host Cathy Wurzer.
“They have fled violence, floods, danger and for many of them, this is their first opportunity to be able to go to school,” said Schutte Wadzinski, who works with youth from Guatemala and other Central American nations.
Schutte Wadzinski said one of the young people she is working with told her she is working hard to learn English so she can become trilingual and work as an interpreter to help others with the immigration process.
Despite language barriers and other challenges, Schutte Wadzinski said Worthington is working "diligently” to provide resources.
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“One thing about these kids, they are so so brave and courteous,” she said. “I would tell them to work hard, stay out of trouble, follow your dreams and in Minnesota … don’t forget a winter coat.”
Use the audio player above to listen to the full conversation.
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