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Unaccompanied Migrant Children: Experiences and Challenges

Perez, Nalleli (2021) Unaccompanied Migrant Children: Experiences and Challenges. Masters thesis, Northern Arizona University.

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Since 2014, the number of unaccompanied alien children (UAC) immigrating to the United States has increased dramatically. The U.S Custom and Border Protection Department has reported experiencing a crisis alongside the Southwest border due to the massive number of apprehensions of children who are illegally immigrating to the U.S unaccompanied by legal guardians. Due to this influx, it has been impossible for those various governmental agencies who are directly involved with the UAC population to provide legally mandated services, as well as to comply with other directives that have been set forth to protect the security and rights of these children. As a result, there have been allegations of child maltreatment, neglect, and abuse leveled against the Department of Homeland Security and the Office of Refugee Resettlement. From the start, the attention given to this particular issue has generally tended to focus solely on the sheer numbers of youth being apprehended and the failures of the government to adequately provide security and services to them. There, however, has been little research examining the characteristics and experiences of these unaccompanied children, including whether the services stipulated for these children are truly ensuring their safety and well-being. Therefore, this project aims to fill the informational gap concerning the UAC population. Through secondary data analysis and intensive, in-person interviews with youth care workers, who are responsible for meeting the physical, emotional, and legal needs of these children, this research examines who these children are, where they come from, how and why, and the unique challenges they face once they have been apprehended. The study also briefly examines whether there is a gender difference in UACs migration journey and custodial experiences.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Publisher’s Statement: © Copyright is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the Cline Library, Northern Arizona University. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Keywords: migrant children; detention; border protection
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
NAU Depositing Author Academic Status: Student
Department/Unit: Graduate College > Theses and Dissertations
College of Social and Behavioral Science > Criminology and Criminal Justice
Date Deposited: 04 Feb 2022 20:46
Last Modified: 04 Feb 2022 20:46
URI: https://openknowledge.nau.edu/id/eprint/5650

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