Student Civic Challenge: Unaccompanied Minors at the Border
Civic Issue: According to NPR the number of asylum-seeking migrants, including unaccompanied minors, crossing the southwest border into the U.S. is soaring, leaving the Biden administration scrambling to find appropriate care and housing for thousands of children. The recent increase of migrants has been on the rise since April 2020 due to ongoing violence, natural disasters, food insecurity, and poverty in Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras.
Connection to the Re-Imagining Migration Learning Arc:
- Why do people leave their homes?
- What is the purpose of borders?
- How do the visible and invisible borders people encounter that shape their lives?
- How can borders work in an ethical way?
Turning into Action:
- What can citizens do to help migrants during their adjustment period?
- How can citizens use their civic muscle to help change government policy?
- How might we use our voice and spheres of influence to create and sustain inclusive and welcoming communities?
Why would people need to flee their own home and country?
- Research statistics on the plight of Central American countries and how the history of violence and poverty are push/pull factors for fleeing to the United States. Use the Council on Foreign Relations “Central America’s Turbulent Northern Triangle” to gain a better understanding of the social, economic and political issues faced in Central America.
- What do you think fair treatment of unaccompanied minors would look like? What should happen? Who should be involved?
- Examine the process of what happens when unaccompanied minors arrive at the border. As you research these experiences, consider how the children cope or process their lived experience? Use Project Zero’s Unveiling Stories routine to help students reveal the multiple layers about unaccompanied minors.
- Reflect on how the border might work in an ethical way. Students might create an action research outline on how you can help educate the public about the impact of immigration policy on unaccompanied minors or advocate for what they see as ethical solutions to rise in the number of unaccompanied minors at the US border. Consider Our Collection of Project Zero Take Action thinking routines to kick off student projects.
- The humanitarian Challenge of Unaccompanied Children at the Border: The New Yorker
- Asylum in the United States American Immigration Council
- Young Migrants Held By Border Patrol Far Longer Than Allowed, Document Shows National Public Radio
- Fact Sheet: Unaccompanied Migrant Children (UACs): National Immigration Forum
- The Rights of Refugees and Asylum Seekers: Reimagining Migration
- My dream is to meet my dad:They crossed the border alone to reunite with parents: NBC News online