Over the last few weeks, Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) has received about 70 students who MCPS believes are unaccompanied minors, Council Vice President Gabe Albornoz told reporters during a council media briefing Monday.
Albornoz said he learned it during a meeting that morning. He said the county has experience with the situation and has infrastructure in place to provide for those minors.
“We are working with the County Executive, our Montgomery County Public Schools, Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and community-based organizations to ensure that we provide as much of a social-safety net as we can for children and youth that are fleeing violence and coming to our community seeking assistance,” Albornoz said.
The county is in the process of scheduling a call with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement about the subject, Emergency Management and Homeland Security Director Dr. Earl Stoddard said.
“We reached out to the feds in this case and have offered our support,” he said. Stoddard said FEMA is financially supporting some jurisdictions that receive unaccompanied minors, and part of the conversation will consider what federal support is available to Montgomery County.
“We’re willing to do the work, but obviously any sort of financial support the federal government can offer us to do the work would be appreciated, so that’s part of the conversation we’re having with them.”
Albornoz said he does not have more information beyond what he shared during the briefing. He believes the county will find out more after speaking with MCPS and meeting with federal partners.