Colorado Churches Seek To Help Immigrant Children Separated From Families

<p>(AP Photo/Eric Gay)</p>
<p>Members of the National Guard patrol along the Rio Grande at the Texas-Mexico border, Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2015, in Rio Grande City, Texas. </p>

Several Colorado church congregations are volunteering to help children that are being separated from their parents at the border. But as of right now, there is no process for people trying to help.

"So there's a bunch of members of Congress that are putting pressure, letters, questions to the administration, trying to pressure them to not split families up," Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.) said, speaking at an immigration forum.

The children of would-be asylum seekers and undocumented immigrants go to the Office of Refugee Resettlement for care. In many cases, it remains unclear how they will eventually be reunited with their parents, who could be in custody of federal authorities.

Health and Human Services takes custody of children who cross the border alone within 48 hours, as well as children who are separated from their families when their parents are charged with crimes or the child's welfare is in doubt.

In April alone, people who came as families accounted for nearly 10,000 Border Patrol arrests. Another 4,300 were unaccompanied children.

Any large increase in prosecutions will likely cause parents to be separated from their children while they face charges and do time in jail.

For now, immigration activists are advising people who want to volunteer as foster families that there is nothing to do but wait and see.