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 13th (it will be out in January 2020), 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.

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Thursday, August 7, 2014

Migrant Children Questions and Answers

PRI'a "The World" radio program asked Elizabeth Kennedy (one of our PhD students who is currently in El Salvador on a Fulbright Fellowship researching unaccompanied child migrants) to do a Q&A session on their Facebook page. There are lots of good questions from people along with her excellent responses--as she tries to navigate a situation that is heavy politicized and therefore subject to a lot of misinformation. Here is one of the more cogent exchanges on the Facebook page:
Kevin Hopson I think the most loving thing you can do for these kids and the other people who are with them is to safely and securely fly them back to their homes.

If the country's laws are not enforced, the risk of more children enduring the same abuse becomes escalated.

In fact, many assert that this crisis began with the President claiming that he would not enforce our laws and in doing so gave incentive for illegal migration to the United States.
Elizabeth G. Kennedy The US-Mexico border is more secure than it has ever been. We are spending more money on walls, drones, agents, towers, etc. than we ever have. President Obama has deported more migrants than any other president. You can read more here: Thus, this is NOT an enforcement issue. This is a humanitarian issue and a refugee crisis partially of the U.S.'s making by irresponsible and short-sighted foreign policy decisions historically and presently. While some of these children (and Central American adults) could return to their homes without being harmed, many have fled to the U.S. because they were in great danger. I encourage you to watch this CBS news piece ( The 15 yo recounts how he, his father and mother tried to flee to the U.S. They were detained in Mexico and deported. His father was murdered days later. This is not an isolated case, and I encourage you to look at my Twitter account (EGKennedySD), where I retweet news articles about murdered U.S. deportees. It is not loving to return people to their death. It is wrong, inhumane and against international law.

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