Dr. Martin Meraz Garcia, Assistant Professor, Chicano Education Department, EWU
TRiO McNair Research Internship:____________________________________________________________
The U.S Imprisonment of Immigrant Children (2014)
With the recent influx of unaccompanied minors from Central America, the United States has been detaining thousands of immigrant children and placing them in detention centers across the country. Within these detention centers, asylum seeking refugee children are at risk of experiencing human rights abuses. Many times these children have to navigate their way through a labyrinth of immigration channels. Entering this county without authorization is not a criminal offence but a civil infraction, instead of being treated as such immigrant detention centers resemble prisons. Human Rights Watch recently stated that "refugee children must be treated first and foremost as children, with their rights and protection needs given priority in all migration polices". This research investigates the current conditions of the immigrant detention centers in the U.S that have been housing immigrant children from Central America and assess to what extent their legal rights are being respected. This paper further addresses the root causes behind the recent surge of immigrant children using a globalization lens. At the micro level, this work examines the practices towards immigrant detainees by the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, WA. To conclude, potential solutions will be discussed on best approaches to dealing with unaccompanied minor detainees.
Honors and Awards:______________________________________________________________________
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