Monday, August 25, 2014

Tweet

[IWS] CRS: UNACCOMPANIED ALIEN CHILDREN: POTENTIAL FACTORS CONTRIBUTING TO RECENT IMMIGRATION [3 July 2014]

IWS Documented News Service

_______________________________

Institute for Workplace Studies-----------------Professor Samuel B. Bacharach

School of Industrial & Labor Relations-------- Director, Institute for Workplace Studies

Cornell University

16 East 34th Street, 4th floor--------------------Stuart Basefsky

New York, NY 10016 -------------------------------Director, IWS News Bureau

________________________________________________________________________

This service is supported, in part, by donations. Please consider making a donation by following the instructions at http://www.ilr.cornell.edu/iws/news-bureau/support.html

 

Congressional Research Service (CRS)

 

Unaccompanied Alien Children: Potential Factors Contributing to Recent Immigration

William A. Kandel, Coordinator, Analyst in Immigration Policy

Andorra Bruno, Specialist in Immigration Policy

Peter J. Meyer, Analyst in Latin American Affairs

Clare Ribando Seelke, Specialist in Latin American Affairs

Maureen Taft-Morales, Specialist in Latin American Affairs

Ruth Ellen Wasem, Specialist in Immigration Policy

July 3, 2014

http://fas.org/sgp/crs/homesec/R43628.pdf

[full-text, 25 pages]

 

Summary

Since FY2008, the growth in the number of unaccompanied alien children (UAC) from Mexico,

El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras seeking to enter the United States has increased

substantially. Total unaccompanied child apprehensions increased from about 8,000 in FY2008 to

52,000 in the first 8 ½ months of FY2014. Since 2012, children from El Salvador, Guatemala,

and Honduras (Central America’s “northern triangle”) account for almost all of this increase.

Apprehension trends for these three countries are similar and diverge sharply from those for

Mexican children. Unaccompanied child migrants’ motives for migrating to the United States are

often multifaceted and difficult to measure analytically.

 

Four recent out-migration-related factors distinguishing northern triangle Central American

countries are high violent crime rates, poor economic conditions fueled by relatively low

economic growth rates, high rates of poverty, and the presence of transnational gangs. In 2012,

the homicide rate per 100,000 inhabitants stood at 90.4 in Honduras (the highest in the world),

41.2 in El Salvador, and 39.9 in Guatemala. International Monetary Fund reports show economic

growth rates in the northern triangle countries in 2013 ranging from 1.6% to 3.5%, relatively low

compared with other Central American countries. About 45% of Salvadorans, 55% of

Guatemalans, and 67% of Hondurans live in poverty. Surveys in 2013 indicate that almost half of

all unaccompanied children experienced serious harm or threats by organized criminal groups or

state actors, and one-fifth experienced domestic abuse.

 

In 2011, Mexico passed legislation to improve migration management and ensure the rights of

migrants transiting the country. According to many migration experts, implementation of the laws

has been uneven. Some have questioned whether passage of such legislation has affected in some

way the recent flows of unaccompanied children. However, the impact of such laws remains

unclear.

 

Although economic opportunity may motivate some unaccompanied children to migrate to the

United States, labor market conditions for low-skilled minority youth have worsened in recent

years, even as industrial sectors employing low-skilled workers enjoy improved economic

prospects. Educational opportunities may also provide a motivating factor to migration as

perceptions of free and safe education may be widespread among the young. Family reunification

is reported to be one of the key motives of unaccompanied children. Many have family members

among the sizable Salvadoran, Guatemalan, and Honduran foreign-born populations residing in

the United States.

 

While the impacts of actual and perceived U.S. immigration policies have been widely debated, it

remains unclear if, and how, specific immigration policies have motivated children to migrate to

the United States. Misperceptions about U.S. policies may be a contributing factor. The existence

of long-standing humanitarian relief policies confounds causal links between them and the recent

surge in unaccompanied children. A notable and recent exception is revised humanitarian relief

provisions for unaccompanied children included in the Trafficking Victims Protection

Reauthorization Act (TVPRA) of 2008, which affects asylum claims, trafficking victim

protections, and eligibility for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status. Some argue that

unaccompanied children and their families falsely believe they would be covered under the

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) initiative and legalization provisions in

proposed comprehensive immigration reform (CIR) legislation.

 

A separate report, CRS Report R43599, Unaccompanied Alien Children: An Overview, by Lisa

Seghetti, Alison Siskin, and Ruth Ellen Wasem, discusses the recent surge in the number of UACs

encountered at the U.S. border with Mexico, as well as the processing and treatment of UACs

who are apprehended by immigration officials. Another report provides answers to frequently

asked questions, CRS Report R43623, Unaccompanied Alien Children—Legal Issues: Answers to

Frequently Asked Questions, by Kate M. Manuel and Michael John Garcia. For information on

country conditions, security conditions, U.S. policy in Central America, and circumstances that

may be contributing to the increase in unaccompanied alien children migrating to the United

States, see CRS Report RL34112, Gangs in Central America, by Clare Ribando Seelke; CRS

Report R41731, Central America Regional Security Initiative: Background and Policy Issues for

Congress, by Peter J. Meyer and Clare Ribando Seelke; CRS Report R43616, El Salvador:

Background and U.S. Relations, by Clare Ribando Seelke; CRS Report R42580, Guatemala:

Political, Security, and Socio-Economic Conditions and U.S. Relations, by Maureen Taft-

Morales; and CRS Report RL34027, Honduras: Background and U.S. Relations, by Peter J.

Meyer.

 

Contents

Introduction ...................................................................................................................................... 1

Background ...................................................................................................................................... 2

Conditions in Central America as Possible “Drivers” for Unaccompanied Child Migration .......... 3

Economic Stagnation and Poverty ............................................................................................. 5

Crime and Violence ................................................................................................................... 7

Migration Transit Zone Conditions and Mexico’s Migration Policies .......................................... 10

Factors in the United States Associated with Immigration of Unaccompanied Children .............. 12

Economic and Educational Opportunity .................................................................................. 12

Family Reunification ............................................................................................................... 14

U.S. Immigration Policies ....................................................................................................... 16

Humanitarian Forms of Immigration Relief ...................................................................... 17

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Legalization Proposals................. 20

Conclusion ..................................................................................................................................... 21

 

Figures

Figure 1. UAC Apprehensions by Country of Origin, FY2008-FY2014......................................... 2

Figure 2. Map of Central America and Neighboring Countries ....................................................... 4

Figure 3. Annual Percentage Change in Real Gross Domestic Product (GDP): 2007-2014 .......... 6

 

Tables

Table 1. Primary Reasons Unaccompanied Children Emigrate ....................................................... 5

Table 2. Estimated Homicide Rates in Central America and Mexico: 2007-2012 .......................... 8

Contacts

Author Contact Information........................................................................................................... 21

 

________________________________________________________________________

This information is provided to subscribers, friends, faculty, students and alumni of the School of Industrial & Labor Relations (ILR). It is a service of the Institute for Workplace Studies (IWS) in New York City. Stuart Basefsky is responsible for the selection of the contents which is intended to keep researchers, companies, workers, and governments aware of the latest information related to ILR disciplines as it becomes available for the purposes of research, understanding and debate. The content does not reflect the opinions or positions of Cornell University, the School of Industrial & Labor Relations, or that of Mr. Basefsky and should not be construed as such. The service is unique in that it provides the original source documentation, via links, behind the news and research of the day. Use of the information provided is unrestricted. However, it is requested that users acknowledge that the information was found via the IWS Documented News Service.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 




Links to this post:

Create a Link



<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?