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  • Author: Katharine M. Donato, Blake Sisk
  • Publication Date: 03-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal on Migration and Human Security
  • Institution: Center for Migration Studies of New York
  • Abstract: In light of rising numbers of unaccompanied minors at the Mexico- US border in 2014, this article examines child migration from Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Costa Rica, and Nicaragua. Using data from the Mexican and Latin American Migration Projects that permit us to go beyond simple descriptive analysis about children apprehended at the border, we investigate the extent to which children from these countries: 1) enter without legal authorization to do so; 2) are more likely to cross the border now than in the past; and 3) are tied to their parents' migration. In theory, if immigration and refugee protections worked well for children and offered them legal pathways to reunify with their families, then we would expect low levels of unauthorized entry and no dramatic shifts over time. However, our examination of child migration shows that it is strongly linked to unauthorized entry, period of entry, and parents' US experience.The findings show that the migration of children is closely linked to their parents' migration history. Although the overall likelihood of a Mexican child making a first US trip is quite low, it is practically non-existent for children whose parents have no US experience. Thus, the increase in child migration from Central America, and the continued high levels of child migration from Mexico result from widespread migration networks and the United States' long-standing reliance on the children's parents as immigrant workers. The findings suggest that these children need protection in the form of family reunification and permanent legal status.
  • Topic: Migration
  • Political Geography: United States, Central America, Mexico
  • Author: Elizabeth Carlson, Ann Marie Gallagher
  • Publication Date: 06-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal on Migration and Human Security
  • Institution: Center for Migration Studies of New York
  • Abstract: By the end of 2011, the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) began to see a steady rise in the number of Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC) from Central America, particularly from the Northern Triangle countries— El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala—arriving to the US-Mexico border. The number of children entering the United States from these countries more than doubled during fiscal year (FY) 2012 and continued to grow through FY 2014. In FY 2013, CBP apprehended over 35,000 children. That number almost doubled to 66,127 in FY 2014, with Central American children outnumbering their Mexican counterparts for the first time. Research has identified high levels of violence perpetrated by gangs and drug cartels in the Northern Triangle countries and Mexico as a primary reason for this surge. Under the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA) passed with bi-partisan support in 2008, children from Central America cannot be deported immediately and must be given a court hearing.
  • Topic: Political Violence, War on Drugs, Border Control, Children, Trafficking
  • Political Geography: Central America, United States of America