Skip to main content
Expand AU Menu

American U Experts Available to Discuss White House Child Migrant Summit

WHO: American University experts  

WHAT: Discussion of President Obama's summit with presidents of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras

WHEN: June 24 –ongoing

WHERE: Via telephone, in-studio or at American University

American University experts are available to discuss the hastily called White House summit with president of Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. While the flow of migrant children showed some signs of abating in the last week, short and long term solutions to stem the flow require cooperation and coordination at the highest levels. The American University experts below can discuss the domestic and international dimensions of the child migrant and broader immigration issues.

Congressional and Presidential Action to Stem Flow of Migrant Children &U.S. Relations with Central America

Eric Hershberg, director of American University's Center for Latin American and Latino Studies and professor of government, has been following the child migrant issue closely. Hershberg can discuss the abject poverty in which one third of Central Americans live combined with the extraordinary violence perpetrated by individuals and groups possessing vast armament and little consideration for human life driving the migration. Specific to the White House gathering, Hershberg can discuss that such a meeting should have taken place long ago, and indeed that such consultations should have been regular. Hershberg can also discuss the U.S. role in creating the problem going back to the wars the 80s and inattention through the 90s and early 2000s and make recommendations on where to go from here.

James Thurber, director of the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies, is available to discuss the White House summit and the proposals being floated on Capitol Hill. Thurber can also address past attempts to alleviate immigration issues and what needs to be done to solve the latest child migrant flow dilemma and what is driving new efforts to make something happen at both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue.

Daniel Esser, assistant professor in American University's School of International Service, focuses on local (in particular urban) governance in the context of armed conflict and discourses as frames for global development policies. He has conducted field research in Mexico and recently answered three questions on the child migrant crisis. Esser is available to discuss aid effectiveness and explain the root causes of the child migrant influx and suggests ways to slow the flow of people. He can also discuss gangs control of entire neighborhoods using extortion, kidnapping, forced gang recruitment, and aggravated sexual violence;the billion-dollar business of human trafficking that delivered more than 50,000 juvenile migrants between October 2013 and June of this year, and President Obama's current strategy to buy goodwill from a partially xenophobic House of Representatives through embracing tougher rhetoric and supporting a focus on enforcement in the short run in order to contain the longer-term political fallout from more profound reforms that will hopefully be introduced before his second term comes to an end.

Lou Goodman, School of International Service professor and dean emeritus, carries out research on social change and politics in Latin America. Goodman's research focuses on building alliances, development, and policy. He is available to discuss the current child migrant crisis, its causes, conditions in Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador, and what can be expected from the White House summit.

History of Immigration Reform & Immigrant Experience

Alan Kraut, professor of history, can discuss U.S. immigration issues. Kraut is a non-resident fellow of the Migration Policy Institute in Washington, D.C. and chairs the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island History Advisory Committee. He is an historical consultant and the prize-winning author or editor of nine books and numerous scholarly articles. Kraut can speak to the history of immigration policy reform in the United States, about how the current debate echoes those of earlier eras and how the experiences of migrants currently arriving in large numbers compare to the experiences of European groups who arrived in large numbers in the last two centuries.

Angie Chuang is a professor of Journalism and an expert on the immigrant experience in America. Her research and teaching focuses on race and identity issues in the news media. She can answer questions about immigration policy issues, assimilation, adaption, the Dream Act, language acquisition and refugees. Chuang joined AU after a 13-year career in newspaper journalism, as a staff writer at The Oregonian, The Hartford Courant, and the Los Angeles Times. Her new book, The Four Words for Home, gives a personal view into an Afghan family's on-going immigrant story and was the Willow Books Literature Awards Grand Prize Winner in Prose. 

Carolyn Brown is a professor of Journalism and an expert on Latino immigrant communities and the impact policy has on Latinos. Her research covers Latino immigrant communities, the border, Latino representation in the media and the anti-immigrant movement. Brown is the daughter of a Latin American immigrant, who grew up in a bicultural and bilingual family, and feels especially connected to the immigrant community. She understands the struggles and dreams of immigrants. Brown can provide an underrepresented perspective to the policy debate.

American University is a leader in global education, enrolling a diverse student body from throughout the United States and nearly 140 countries. Located in Washington, D.C., the university provides opportunities for academic excellence, public service, and internships in the nation’s capital and around the world.