Amy Thompson

Amy Thompson

Amy Thompson is a public policy analyst and advocate with degrees in Public Affairs (MPAff – LBJ School) and Ethics and Human Rights (BA – School of International Service, American University). For over fifteen years, Amy has specialized in issues related to unaccompanied children in the US immigration system. She is the author of, “A Child Alone and Without Papers“, a report which revealed US policy and practices in the deportation of children. She has worked extensively on issues at the intersection of the child welfare and immigration systems through her work with the Center for Public Policy Foundations, the Immigrant Services Network of Austin, First Focus, the Migration and Child Welfare National Network and various advocacy coalitions for immigrant children. She is currently conducting research for Dean Zayas on the development of interdisciplinary forums and opportunities on campus to promote more comprehensive approaches to immigration related research.

Having witnessed generations of children caught in the dysfunction of the US immigration system, and countless stalled and counterproductive policies, Amy became frustrated with the lack of holistic analysis in the development of immigration policy. Recognizing the opportunity to build an interdisciplinary approach at the University of Texas, she has returned to academia to further pursue research in child migration studies.

Amy hopes to contribute to the University’s development as a leading source of the data and analysis that a constructive debate on immigration requires. Her vision is an environment of inter-disciplinary and trans-national academic research and analysis that supports a future of evidenced based immigration policies and immigrant services. In her own specific area of interest, child migration, she would like to help reestablish the policies affecting the treatment of unaccompanied children within a child welfare paradigm and to develop a continuum of care that follows the child across borders.

Professional Interests

Effects of US policy on migrant child populations; demographic study of migrant child populations (particularly interested in field research in the Americas); effects of migration on child development.


  • MPA, The University of Texas at Austin
  • B.A., Ethics and Human Rights, American University


Mailing Address

The University of Texas
School of Social Work
1925 San Jacinto Blvd
Austin, TX 78712-0358