Guatemalan unaccompanied children migration : a case study of unaccompanied children in guatemala




Gonzalez, Luis Raul

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This thesis examines the motives and conditions of migration of Guatemalan unaccompanied children through a case study. Unaccompanied children have been arriving in large numbers than in the past. According to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), in fiscal year 2014, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol apprehended more than 68,000 unaccompanied children (DHS Statistical Yearbook 2014), and approximately 69,000 migrants traveling together as families. Based on ethnographic, semi-structure interviews with families, NGOs, lawyers, and community members I argue that new migration communities are emerging as a result of systemic legal violence. There is little consensus among analysts regarding why the number of Central American minors abandoning their homes in hope of entering the United States has increased so significantly. Nevertheless, structural conditions of high levels of poverty, unemployment, violence, and instability in the region has contributed to the influx of child migration.


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