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In 2014 there has been a pick in the number of children trying to cross the US-Mexico border. This has provoked heated debates on the relevance on a human rights framework when looking at migrations from South to North America.
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The relevance on a human rights framework when looking at South to North American migration
I suppose the central crux of this article revolves around whether or not to use, or how best to apply, a human rights framework when determining how to handle the the surge of unaccompanied children crossing the South Texas border from Latin America.
In particular, as the numbers of minors from Central America has spiked sharply in recent years, there is both increased domestic pressure to drive down these numbers as they are painted to represent an immigration policy inadequate to deal with the influx, while at the same time, there is a recognition that increased level of violence and human rights abuses in those same central american countries are responsible for the increased number of migrants, to which the U.S. has a responsibility to evaluate the situation in terms of the minors being refugees.
Current U.S. policy dictates that while undocumented minors taken into U.S. custody from Mexico and Canada can be sent back immediately to their country of origin, but children from countries that do not share a border with the U.S. (such as all of the countries of Central America), need to be handed over to the Office of Refugee Resettlement for processing, and that they are guaranteed the right to a hearing before an immigration judge. This policy is straining the system as cases take time to work through, and many of these children remain vulnerable during this time period as they rarely qualify for public support.