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Pittsburgh's Holy Family Institute Housing Unaccompanied Children From South Of The Border

EMSWORTH, Pa. (KDKA) -- The surge in undocumented immigrants crossing the Mexican border into the United States is reaching this region.

Some undocumented children from south of the border are being housed in Pittsburgh. This is not the first time that Holy Family Institute in Emsworth has come to the rescue to house unaccompanied children who cross the border. They have done that for years.

"When the children arrive at the border, a lot of time depending on beds and availability, they are sent throughout the United States. And we're lucky to have Holy Family here that takes in children here in the Pittsburgh area," Samantha Tamburro, a local immigration lawyer who speaks Spanish, told KDKA political editor Jon Delano on Monday.

Holy Family Institute

Sources told KDKA that Holy Family Institute has been "slammed" with children, posting this notice on its website: "Due to the current crisis at the US-Mexico border, we are urgently hiring for our Journey of Hope program. Spanish language skills preferred, but not required."

As for the kids, says Tamburro, "A lot of them are frightened. A lot of them are scared. They're just looking for a little love like any child around the world, a little bit of caring."

Tamburro has met a number of unaccompanied children over the years.

"Some of the stories of what has happened when they come through the borders – many of these children are coming through two, three countries – some of the stories are horrible, and they're very frightening," Tamburro said.

WATCH: Jon Delano Reports

Once in Pittsburgh, says Tamburro, there's an effort to locate a family member in or out of the country.

"At Holy Family, they would try to unite them with a family member if they could. If they can't, then they try to place them in a foster home as the next best option," says Tamburro.

Delano: Is that likely to be here in Pittsburgh?

Tamburro: Children are placed in foster homes all the time in Pittsburgh. I currently have a foster child from Guatemala.

Holy Family Institute was not able to talk to KDKA without getting government clearance, so no word on how many children are there. In the past, they could house 50 to 70 children for a few days to a couple of months.

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