With support from the Ford Foundation, CLALS published a report offering a comprehensive orientation to the recent surge in migration to the United States by unaccompanied children (UACs) and families from the Northern Triangle countries of Central America: El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras (Read the full-text report). To inform advocates and others working on behalf of these new arrivals, the report seeks to:
- Set the unprecedented expansion in the number of youth and family border crossings in the context of long-term migration trends from the region;
- Present a detailed account of the country conditions ("push factors") driving the exodus of Central American minors and families; and
- Consider new arrivals' prospects for remaining in the U.S. in light of available forms of deportation relief as well as current policy and advocacy responses.
To familiarize pro bono attorneys and other advocates with the nature and extent of the violence faced by their child clients, special attention is paid throughout to how conditions in their home countries relate to specific legal remedies that may be available to migrant youth and families.
The report is a product of research efforts underway at CLALS exploring the factors behind the migration of Central American children and families. It draws on extensive investigative reporting carried out by Center research fellows and the CLALS-affiliated research foundation InSight Crime, as well as the Center's portfolio of research on Central America's political economy. Data generated by these initiatives have frequently been used as the basis for expert affidavits and testimony in immigration proceedings. This study is intended to further inform the preparation of expert analyses that can be used in judicial and administrative review processes pertaining to the status of recent migrants.
View the PDF presentation of the report (Please cite appropriately)
News and Updates
- United States: Is ICE on the Chopping Block?
(AULA Blog, March 8, 2021)
- Biden’s North American Reset?
(AULA Blog, January 21, 2021)
- United States: Biden Versus the Arc of Immigration Policy
(AULA Blog, October 13, 2020)
- U.S. Fails to Consider “Best Interests” of Child Migrants
(AULA Blog, July 6, 2020)
- Lessons Learned from Last Century’s Climate Change Migration
(AULA Blog, April 15, 2020)
- Challenges to “Safe Country” Strategy in Central America Mounting
(AULA Blog, March 17, 2020)
- Mexican Migration Crackdown Creates a “Wall” Before the Wall
(AULA Blog, January 17, 2020)
- Building Walls, Closing the Border: Not the Answer
(AULA Blog, July 2, 2019)
- Mexico: Has AMLO Compromised on Human Dignity?
(AULA Blog, June 25, 2019)
- U.S.-Mexico: Tariffs, Threats, and Trade Agreements
(AULA Blog, June 11, 2019)
- U.S.-Central America: Suspending Aid Won’t Help
(AULA Blog, April 29, 2019)
- U.S. Immigration: Call for Wall Ignores Changing Migrant Profile
(AULA Blog, January 15, 2019)
- U.S.-Central America-Mexico: Migrant Caravan Shaking up Relations
(AULA Blog, October 24, 2018)
- U.S. Immigration Policy: New Obstacles to Asylum
(AULA Blog, July 10, 2018)
- Deciding Asylum: Challenges Remain as Claims Soar
(AULA Blog, January 19, 2017)
- As Mexico "Absorbs" Central American Refugees, Record Numbers Reach the U.S.
(AULA Blog, September 22, 2016)
- A Divided Court on U.S. v. Texas: A Safety Net for the Administration?
(AULA Blog, February 29, 2016)
- Judicial Activism Prolongs Immigrants' Angst
(AULA Blog, October 28, 2015)
- U.S. Immigration Reform: Stuck Again
(AULA Blog, June 8, 2015)
- A New Line of Defense: Trends at Mexico's Southern Border
(AULA Blog, June 4, 2015)
- Central American Minors: Headed Home?
(AULA Blog, March 26, 2015)
- Executive Under-Reach: Migrants at the Margins of Reform
(AULA Blog, December 11, 2014)
- Executive Action, Central American Presidents and the Fate of UACs
(AULA Blog, November 19, 2014)
- Children and Migrant Teens: Trapped with No Way Out
(AULA Blog, September 3, 2014)
Below is a list of select resources on UACs prepared by government agencies, research centers, and advocacy organizations. Lawyers and other advocates seeking expert assistance with the preparation of affidavits are welcome to contact Dennis Stinchcomb at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The Cost of Stemming the Tide: How Immigration Enforcement Practices in Southern Mexico Limit Migrant Children's Access to International Protection (Georgetown Law Human Rights Institute, April 13, 2015)
- Childhood and Migration in Central and North America: Causes, Policies, Practices and Challenges (Center for Gender & Refugee Studies and National University of Lanús (Argentina) Justice and Human Rights Center, February 2015)
- No Childhood Here: Why Central American Children Are Fleeing Their Homes (Elizabeth Kennedy, American Immigration Council, July 2014)
- Unaccompanied Alien Children - Legal Issues: Answers to Frequently Asked Questions (Congressional Research Service, June 27, 2014)
- Unaccompanied Alien Children: An Overview (Congressional Research Service, June 23, 2014)
- Children on the Run: Unaccompanied Children Leaving Central America and Mexico and the Need for International Protection (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, March 2014)
- A Treacherous Journey: Child Migrants Navigating the U.S. Immigration System (Center for Gender & Refugee Studies and Kids in Need of Defense, February 2014)
- The Flow of Unaccompanied Children through the Immigration System (Vera Institute of Justice, March 2012)