Dean Luis H. Zayas and doctoral student Amy Thompson authored the op-ed piece “Summer reading for Congress and Obama on child refugees,” published in the Austin American Statesman (subscription required) and in The Huffington Post (full version available).
In the piece, Zayas and Thompson suggest a list of summer reading for Congress and the executive branch, to help them gain a deeper understanding of the recent influx of child refugees at the border. Their list of summer reading includes:
- Child Migration and Human Rights in a Global Age, by Jacqueline Bhabha. Bhabha discusses the realities of child trafficking and shows how expedited removal perpetuates the cycle of human trafficking and leads to the re-trafficking of more than half of the children returned.
- Children on the Run, by the UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency. This report shows that more than a third of children expeditiously removed to Mexico end up in the hands of organized crime. The report also breaks out the children’s motivations to migrate by country, a useful source of information for tailoring specific interventions: Guatemalan children are likely to be motivated by abject poverty; Salvadoran children are trying to avoid gang recruitment; and a primary motivation for kids from Honduras is to reunite with parents who are already in the United States.
- Migrant Youth, Transnational Families, and the State, by Lauren Heidbrink. Through interviews, Heidbrink gives voice to the children who navigate the U.S. immigration system, and explores the consequences of not recognizing their agency and autonomy.
- The Beast, by Oscar Martinez, and To Die in Mexico. Dispatches from Inside the Drug War, by John Gibler. Both authors describe the threats that migrants, including children, face: rape, forced conscription into organized crime, and kidnappings that often end in murder.