Widening the Frame: Unaccompanied Youth

by Lauren Heidbrink and Michele Statz

In the past few weeks, New Mexico’s Artesia Family Residential Center has become the most recent flashpoint in the media coverage of child migration. As one of two family detention centers holding more than 1000 women and children, the news is troubling: Limited food, unsanitary conditions, verbal abuse from guards, and temperatures so cold that the facility has earned the nickname hielera (icebox) are some of the complaints from the women and children held there. Attorneys describe limited access to their clients, an absence of confidentiality, and no due process—subjects of a recent ACLU lawsuit against the federal government. As attorneys scramble to screen, prepare and represent women and children for newly-implemented rocket dockets...Read more on the Anthropology of Children and Youth Interest Group blog.

Children deplane a Justice Prisoner and Alien Transportation System (JPATS) flight at the Guatemalan Air Force Base. From January to June of 2014, an estimated 1500 unaccompanied children have been deported from the United States to Central America. Photo credit: Foreign Ministry of Guatemala. 

Children deplane a Justice Prisoner and Alien Transportation System (JPATS) flight at the Guatemalan Air Force Base. From January to June of 2014, an estimated 1500 unaccompanied children have been deported from the United States to Central America. Photo credit: Foreign Ministry of Guatemala.