Support and Setback: Churches and Unaccompanied Youth in LA

In this essay I examine the role of religion and religious institutions in the adaptation of unaccompanied Central American youth in Los Angeles. Two questions guide this analysis: To what extent does the church provide social support and adaptation resources for unauthorized, unaccompanied youth in Los Angeles? And, in what ways might church membership hinder the adaptation of young migrants outside of the traditional protective institutions of family and school?

Find the full essay published by the Center for Migration Studies here.

Supporting Students Impacted by Proposed Immigration Policy Changes

Welcome to the AAA Blog

This post was authored by Susan Bibler Coutin, with Anita Casavantes Bradford and Laura E. Enriquez.

As an anthropologist who writes about immigration issues, many of my conversations at the American Anthropological Association’s recent Annual Meeting in Minneapolis focused on how we can support noncitizen students who are threatened with deportation and “unauthorization” – which anthropologist Deborah Boehm defines as being (re)defined as undocumented – in the wake of the 2016 presidential elections? (Deborah Boehm used the term “unauthorization” in a paper she presented in Minneapolis. We use it here with her permission.)

Meanwhile, on my own campus, an immediate challenge emerged – students who feared for their personal safety and educational futures were all turning to the small number of faculty who they perceived as sympathetic. Some of these students were unable to eat and sleep, let alone study, as they contemplated losing work permits, jobs, and even family…

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