This blog is intended to go along with Population: An Introduction to Concepts and Issues, by John R. Weeks, published by Cengage Learning. The latest edition is the 12th (it came out in 2015), but this blog is meant to complement any edition of the book by showing the way in which demographic issues are regularly in the news.

If you are a user of my textbook and would like to suggest a blog post idea, please email me at: john.weeks@sdsu.edu

Monday, June 23, 2014

The Continuing Conundrum of Unaccompanied Minor Immigrants

It now appears that at least some of the recent increase in unaccompanied minor children, and especially mothers with children, crossing the border into the U.S. without documents is a result of a rumor mill. The New York Times has reported that:
The administration is trying to quell rampant rumors reaching Central America that American border authorities are offering entry permits to parents traveling with young children after they are caught. Officials hope that by increasing the numbers of migrants who are detained and then deported, others considering the trek will be dissuaded from doing so. 
But many migrants told Border Patrol agents they decided to set out for the United States after hearing that it was offering some kind of entry permit. Many other migrants who asked for asylum after being apprehended have been allowed to stay temporarily, further fueling hopes that Central American women and children were receiving special treatment.
The "surge" is a little confusing because the problem of unaccompanied minor children has become subsumed under another related, but generally separate issue. Nonetheless, there has been a steady increase in unaccompanied minor children, and this Wednesday, 25 June, the Migration Policy Institute in Washington DC will hold a webinar on "Unaccompanied Minors: A Crisis with Deep Roots and No Simple Solutions." If you are reading this after 25 June, there should be a link to the information on their website. 

You can also keep up on the latest news from the field in El Salvador by tuning into Elizabeth Kennedy's blog.

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