Category BLOG

How unaccompanied youth become exploited workers in the U.S.

The Trump administration has released a series of executive orders targeting immigration at the U.S. southern border. Central American families and children traveling alone represent nearly half of all unauthorized migrants apprehended by Customs and Border Protection. The criminalization of immigrants at the U.S. southern border disproportionately affects Central American children and youth. Nearly 153,000 unaccompanied Mexican […]

Gaspar Marcos and unaccompanied migrant youth workers

On July 10th, the LA Times story of Gaspar Marcos took the interweb by storm. His experiences with juggling 19-hour school and work days provided a glimpse into the questions we’ve had since the “humanitarian crisis” of summer of 2014: “Where do unaccompanied youth go upon arrival in the U.S.? How are they settling in cities like Los […]

The Untold History of Unaccompanied Minors

“Public opinion remains deeply divided over whether the U.S. government has a moral obligation to offer asylum to Central Americans children escaping political persecution or violence in their home countries. According to a survey published last month by the Associated Press, 53 percent of the U.S. public think their country has no obligation to take in […]

Life for child migrants is even harder beyond the US border

The following comes from an article I wrote for The Conversation: Between 2003 and 2011, 8,000 to 40,000 unaccompanied migrant children from Central America were stopped every year on the southern border of the US. When this number boomed to more than 57,000 during the first nine months of 2014, president Barack Obama announced an “urgent humanitarian situation requiring […]

The risk of unaccompanied migrant youth

In “At the Crossroads: Youth at the Intersection of the Family and the State”, Lauren Heidbrink writes: “In addition to being subjected to the vicissitudes of the war on terrorism and the war on immigrants, unaccompanied children also exist as a particular kind of palpable threat to the body politic. The view that children are […]

Experiences of Exploitation, Poverty, and Marginality among Unaccompanied Migrant Youth

I am approaching my two year anniversary of beginning my research with Central American youth and young-adults who arrived as unaccompanied minors. Each day they thank me for my time and attention and have given me nicknames like “teacher”, “hermana”, and “Chep” (Maya K’iche for Stephanie). They smile shyly when I tell them that they […]

Press Conference and Rally

Human Rights Alliance for Child Refugees and Families From Facebook Event (link below): Central Americans and Allies call on President Obama to Rescind his call to Fastrack-Deportation of Minors and to Divert $2 billion away from Militarizing the Border In response to the current humanitarian crisis evidenced by the unprecedented number of Central American child […]

TPS holders deemed inspected and admitted

Excerpt, page 6: “However, the Ninth Circuit’s holding that enrollment in the Family Unity Program (FUP) constituted an “admission” within the meaning of the INA can be applied to the present case. See Garcia-Quintero v. Gonzalez, 455 F.3d 1006 (9th Cir. 2006). In that case, the court reasoned that although the plaintiff’s “enrollment into the […]

UC Davis Center for Poverty Research, Visiting Scholar

This Fall (2013) I am participating in the UC Davis Center for Poverty Research Visiting Scholars Program. My fellowship was graciously funded by the Stanford University Center on Poverty and Inequality. Check this opportunity out. And me too, of course.

USC Tomas Rivera Policy Institute: The Latino Middle Class

Earlier this year, Dr. Jody Agius Vallejo and I were asked to develop a microsite (read: resource page) for USC’s Tomas Rivera Policy Institute. Building on Jody Vallejo’s work centered on the Mexican-American middle class, the research highlighted on this site examines middle-class Mexican Americans and elite Latino entrepreneurs. We address important questions concerning immigrant socioeconomic mobility and assimilation. […]