Children / Minors

Children / Minors

Migration Experts Series | Eunice Lee
Eunice Lee, Co-Director of the Center for Gender & Refugee Studies at the University of California, Hastings discusses her paper, “Seeking a Rational Approach to a Regional Refugee Crisis: Lessons from the Summer 2014 ‘Surge’ of Central American Women and...

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Seeking a Rational Approach to a Regional Refugee Crisis: Lessons from the Summer 2014 “Surge” of Central American Women and Children at the US-Mexico Border
In the early summer months of 2014, an increasing number of children and families from the Northern Triangle countries of El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala — three of the most dangerous countries in the world — began arriving at the US-Mexico border in search of safety and protection. Responses to this “surge,” and explanations for it, varied widely in policy, media, and government circles. Two competing narratives emerged. One argues that “push” factors in their home countries drove children and families to flee as bona fide asylum seekers; the other asserted that “pull” factors drew these individuals to the United States. The first section of this paper examines and critiques the Obama administration’s policies during and after the 2014 summer surge, which took the form of expanded family detention, accelerated removal procedures, raids, and interdiction. The second section examines the “push” factors behind the migration surge — namely, societal violence, violence in the home, and poverty and exclusion in El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala. The penultimate section explores the ways in which the United States’ deterrence-based policies echo missteps of the past, particularly through constructive refoulement and the denial of protection to legitimate refugees. The paper concludes by offering recommendations to the US government for a more effective approach to the influx of Central American women and children at its border, one that addresses the reasons driving their flight and that furthers a sustainable solution consistent with US and international legal obligations and moral principles.

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Migration Experts Series | Karen Musalo
Karen Musalo, Professor of Law and Director of the Center for Gender & Refugee Studies at the University of California, Hastings discusses her paper, “Seeking a Rational Approach to a Regional Refugee Crisis: Lessons from the Summer 2014 ‘Surge’ of...

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‘They Need to Give Us a Voice’: Lessons from Listening to Unaccompanied Central American and Mexican Children on Helping Children Like Themselves
This article analyzes the responses of Central American and Mexican migrant children to one interview question regarding how to help youth like themselves, and identifies several implied “no-win” situations as potential reasons for the migration decisions of unaccompanied children. Furthermore, the children’s responses highlight the interconnected nature of economics, security, and education as migratory factors. Examination of children’s political speech revealed primarily negative references regarding their home country’s government, the president, and the police. The police were singled out more than any other public figures, with particular emphasis on police corruption and ineffectiveness. Additional analysis focused on children’s comments regarding migration needs and family.

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Migration Experts Series | Susan Schmidt
Susan Schmidt, Assistant Professor of Social Work at Luther College, discusses her paper, “‘They Need to Give Us a Voice’: Lessons from Listening to Unaccompanied Central American and Mexican Children on Helping Children Like Themselves.” The paper is available in...

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National Identity and 3 of the Most Damaging Directives in President Trump’s Executive Orders on Immigration and Refugees
President Trump’s “shock and awe” strategy in the form of multiple executive orders on immigration and refugees creates three major risks: first, that many of the most damaging provisions will evade scrutiny in the glare of more high profile issues like building an unnecessary and unsustainable 2,000 mile border wall; second, that the cynical rationale for the orders (security and safety) will actually stick, if repeated enough times, and; third, that some portion of this agenda may actually be implemented at permanent cost to our nation’s well-being, core values and identity.

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Critical Perspectives on Clandestine Migration Facilitation: An Overview of Migrant Smuggling Research
This paper provides an overview of contemporary, empirical scholarship on clandestine migration facilitation. It argues clandestine migration is not merely the domain of criminal groups. Rather, it also involves protection mechanisms crafted within migrant and refugee communities. Yet amid concerns over national and border security, and the reemergence of nationalism, said strategies have become increasingly stigmatized and perceived as an inherently criminal activity. This paper constitutes an attempt to rethink the framework in everyday narratives of irregular migration facilitation.

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