Local school helps kids whose parents are affected by ICE raids
O'NEILL, Neb. —
The O'Neill community is helping out the children of the parents who were taken into custody Wednesday morning in O'Neill.
Senator Adam Morfeld is working with the superintendent of O'Neill Public Schools to provide assistance and resources to those children affected.
"Why are you afraid? We have papers. Well I'm afraid because all of my friends at school are saying they are taking their fathers. They are taking their mothers. They are going to be alone and I don't want the same thing to happen to you," said an Elkhorn River Farms worker Gerardo Pena.
Gerardo Pena explains his daughter's reaction when he wasn't answering his phone at work after it was raided by ICE agents.
"My phone was ringing and ringing. They wouldn't let me see who it was. It was my daughter. She heard on the radio that ICE was at the potato plant. She was scared and she was crying. I said to them let me just say I'm okay and that I'm coming home," said Pena.
For Pena, he did get to go home but 10 workers at the potato plant were not as lucky and their kids in O'Neill were left alone.
"I just saw some of our students up at O'Neill Elementary. We had a crisis response team there. I tried to help out and visit with those students. I mean they're devastated, they're crying and they're scared. They don't know where their mom and dad are," said O'Neill Public Schools psychologist Kay Mudloff.
Those children affected were taken to the elementary school and the O'Neill Public Schools superintendent was working to contact other family members to take in the children.
"We'll just be there to support them anyway that we can just to make that personal connection to check-in with those students. I know there were other people on the crisis response team contacting all of our Hispanic families to find out how they were doing, where they were and what we could do to help," said Mudloff.
Senator Morfeld said he didn't think there was any plan on the government's part regarding what would happen to children separated from their parents.
"The children are losing their parents. They're losing their parents, are going to find out about it because their parents aren't going to show up to pick them up. That's really disturbing and really sad," said Sen. Morfeld of District 46.
Some of those kids affected are still in limbo and NTV News is working to find out what will be happening to those children.
Senator Morfeld is also working towards preventing local law enforcement from being able to help ICE during raids like the ones of Wednesday.