The US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI) is opening a new center for unaccompanied child migrants in the state of North Carolina. The center will provide free legal and social services to the children. USCRI spokesman Eric Sigmon told VOA English to Africa Service reporter Francois Nsengiyumva that USCRI, a non-profit organization, was founded in 1911 and is based in Washington, DC.

Sigmon says estimates show that close to 120 thousand unaccompanied children arrive in the United States every year.

He says many of the children are returned to their homes but ?a certain percentage will be detained by the federal government and kept in shelters for minors under the age of 18.

Sigmon says, ?Once those are released in the general population to live with a sponsor, then those children contact us on the phone, basically asking for free legal services in the part of the country where they are.?

He says USCRI has identified North Carolina as a state with a fast-growing population of new immigrants and that it lacks the proper infrastructure and services to attend to the needs of this growing populace.

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