Congressional Research Service. July 30, 2014.
The sheer number of Central American children coming to the United States who are not accompanied by a parent or legal guardian and who lack proper immigration documents is raising complex and competing sets of humanitarian concerns and immigration control issues. Adults and families from the same three countries—El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras—have also been coming in increasing numbers over the same period. Current law provides that unaccompanied alien children (also referred to as unaccompanied children) are treated differently than adults or children with their parents who come to the United States without proper immigration documents. This report focuses on how unaccompanied alien children are treated in comparison to unauthorized adults and families with children in the specific contexts of asylum and expedited removal.
http://fpc.state.gov/documents/organization/230755.pdf [PDF format, 14 pages].
Congressional Research Service. July 28, 2014.
The number of unaccompanied alien children (UAC) arriving in the United States has reached alarming numbers, straining the system put in place over the past decade to handle such cases. UAC are defined in statute as children who lack lawful immigration status in the United States, who are under the age of 18, and who are without a parent or legal guardian in the United States or no parent or legal guardian in the United States is available to provide care and physical custody. Two statutes and a legal settlement most directly affect U.S. policy for the treatment and administrative processing of UAC: the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008; the Homeland Security Act of 2002; and the Flores Settlement Agreement of 1997.
http://fas.org/sgp/crs/homesec/R43599.pdf [PDF format, 19 pages].
Center for American Progress. July 24, 2014.
The majority of unaccompanied children and families who are arriving come from a region of Central America known as the “Northern Triangle,” where high rates of violence and homicide have prevailed in recent years and economic opportunity is increasingly hard to come by. Officials believe a total of at least 90,000 children will arrive on the U.S.-Mexico border by the end of this fiscal year in September. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
http://cdn.americanprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/CentAmerChildren3.pdf [PDF format, 16 pages].
Congressional Research Service. July 18, 2014.
Recent reports about the increasing number of alien minors apprehended at the U.S. border without a parent or legal guardian have prompted numerous questions about so-called unaccompanied alien children (UACs). Some of these questions pertain to the numbers of children involved, their reasons for coming to the United States, and current and potential responses of the federal government and other entities to their arrival. Other questions concern the interpretation and interplay of various federal statutes and regulations, administrative and judicial decisions, and settlement agreements pertaining to alien minors. This report addresses the latter questions, providing general and relatively brief answers to 14 frequently asked questions regarding UACs.
http://fpc.state.gov/documents/organization/229887.pdf [PDF format, 27 pages].
Center for American Progress. July 8, 2014.
A humanitarian refugee situation at the U.S. southern border has been unfolding over the past few years and dramatically intensifying over the past several months, as tens of thousands of unaccompanied children are fleeing their homes in Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador. In search of a safe haven, these children embark on dangerous journeys, arriving in the United States and neighboring countries throughout Central America.
Even as the Obama administration struggles to deal with the situation, including finding adequate shelter and protection for the kids, some in Congress have attempted to score political points by arguing that the increased numbers are the result of the administration’s own immigration enforcement policies, such as the creation of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program in 2012, which grants eligible unauthorized youth a two-year reprieve from deportation and a work permit. [Note: contains copyrighted material]
http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/immigration/news/2014/07/08/93370/statistical-analysis-shows-that-violence-not-deferred-action-is-behind-the-surge-of-unaccompanied-children-crossing-the-border/ [HTML format}