Theses Bachelor's

Unaccompanied Minors from Mexico and Central America: A System of Empty Protections in the United States

Lozano, Armando

While unaccompanied minor immigrants can come from anywhere, the vast majority is from Mexico and Central America. They flee gang violence and instability in their home countries and search for a better life in the U.S. Once they reach the United States however, they deal with a system that is not meant to help them. They do not receive legal representation; they have to deal with laws that were not written with their situations in mind; and many are deported because this system fails to protect them in the way that it should. This research paper underscores the significant gaps in the existing protection mechanisms for minor immigrants by painting a picture of what is truly happening to this population in courtrooms across the country. Despite being a signatory to international agreements that discuss the rights of minors, and working to protect children in domestic courts, the United States fails to substantively protect unaccompanied minors seeking to obtain relief from deportation. Each and every day that the U.S. fails to address this issue furthers the United States’ history of oppression and racism through immigration laws that adversely affect our neighbors to the south. Further, we must not forget that many of the minors fleeing Mexico and the Northern Triangle do so because of the economic dependence, political violence, imperialism, and intervention in Latin American affairs perpetuated by the United States for more than a century.

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More About This Work

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Thesis Advisors
Ngai, Mae
B.A., Columbia University
Published Here
June 5, 2015