Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Unaccompanied Minors

The recent news coverage of unaccompanied minors, mainly from Central America, traveling across the US border alone and then being detained in federal facilities is incredibly distressing.  I guess the upsurge in young migrants has been building for awhile, see this 2013 piece in Mother Jones and this 2012 piece from the New York Times-"Young and Alone, Facing Court and Deportation," but I have to admit I haven't really paid attention until the latest news coverage.

Photos from the Houston Chronicle showing conditions in detention here.  The NYTimes answering readers questions about immigration here.  The DailyMail on conditions for detained migrant minors here.  Mother Jones on unaccompanied minors in adult jails here.  And reporting from the LATimes here.  Here's a short audio piece from Tell Me More.

A conservative blog take here. And analysis on Laura Ingram's comments on child migrants here.

Liberal analysis stresses the push factors of extreme gang violence in Central American and the humanitarian aspects of these young migrants, while conservatives stress the role DACA may play in motivating migration and use imagery of the US boarder overrun.  Clearly, I'm on the humanitarian side in this one.  I can't imagine how bad things have to be to send one's child on a journey a thousand miles long, illegally crossing multiple borders, to an uncertain future.  I can't imagine how terrifying it would be for a young person to make that journey and then to land in a detention facility.  But, I also find it hard to believe that DACA, in addition to other pushes and pulls, isn't a motivating factor in this wave of migration, and if it is, I don't think that means that it is a failed policy.

Tired now.


  1. The murder rate in Honduras (for the country as a whole) is 50% higher than the most murderous city in the US (Flint). The most murderous city in Honduras has a murder rate more than double that of Flint. Seeing those numbers, makes me very sympathetic to those describing the flight across the US border as a refugee situation.

  2. And here's some reporting from PBS: "No Country for Lost Children," http://www.pbs.org/newshour/updates/country-lost-kids/