Children at the Border
Problem: The U.S. government is currently separating families who are seeking refuge in America and placing them in detention centers.
Q: Why are families/immigrants coming to U.S. Southern border?
A: There is a lack of economic opportunities in their native lands and the U.S. has historically benefited from cheap labor. There is social and political instability in their home countries that has been created by U.S. foreign policies.
Q: What is actually happening at the border with the children?
A: Imagine a family from Guatemala traveling to Nogales, Arizona. The family includes a mom in her early twenties and her 2 year old daughter. The mom goes to the port of entry asking for asylum, but the border patrol agent turns her down with no way to move forward. She then crosses the border out of urgency and gets caught by border patrol. Border patrol puts the mom in a detention facility to be processed, the child gets taken away from her and is sent to a New York facility. What happens next? Read more.
Q: Why would parents do this to their children if they knew this could happen?
A: Many families who have come to the border have exhausted their options in their native land. No parent wants to be separated from their children and many genuinely believe that their children and themselves will be safer in the U.S.
Q: Is this the first time that the U.S. government puts children and families in detention?
A: No. Detention of minors and families has been occurring for a long time. In 2014, we saw a dramatic expansion on detaining families.
Q: How many immigrants can we really take?
A: Studies have shown that in order to keep annual GDP growth rate at 3%, support an aging population, and national security the U.S. needs immigrants. There's no consensus on how many immigrants the country needs however, since 1986 US GDP has grown on average at 3.0% and admitted over 1 million immigrants.
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What else can you do?
Educate your friends, family, and co-workers on family detention.
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Refugees Studies Centre - https://soundcloud.com/refugeestudiescentre
Detention Watch Network - https://soundcloud.com/detentionwatch