MDCPS offers assistance following ICE raids

The Mississippi Department of Child Protective Services (MDCPS) is continuing to monitor and provide assistance in the wake of recent ICE raids in the state.

MDCPS has provided translators to the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Canton. This faith-based group is providing emergency response and assistance to the immigrant community and detainee families in the Canton/Madison County area. Translators are assisting with the local volunteers.

MDCPS does not have any firm (or even estimated) numbers of how many children have been affected by this week’s raids. The agency is continuing to visit all schools where detainees’ children may be attending. MDCPS has been told that attendance numbers for Hispanic children on Thursday and Friday continue to be significantly less than the numbers attending school before the raid. The agency has not received a response to a request for a summary of attendance numbers statewide for schools affected by raids.

Beginning Monday, MDCPS workers will be posting and circulating fliers in affected communities in both English and  Spanish providing contact phone numbers (1-800-222-8000) and the MDCPS website address for detainee families needing assistance. MDCPS will connect these families with local/state resources and volunteer organizations.

Individuals and groups offering assistance for the affected families should go to the MDCPS website and click on the “Report Child Abuse” button.  They do NOT need to be making an abuse/neglect report. They can provide their contact information and describe what type of assistance they would like to provide.  MDCPS will contact volunteers next week.  The agency will soon add a list of identified needs for those wanting to make donations on their website.