PRESS RELEASE: One Year After the Crisis of Unaccompanied Minors, Centro Presente Seeks to Pass a Local Resolution in Support of Immigrant Children and their Families.

PRESS RELEASE

One Year After the Crisis of Unaccompanied Minors, Centro Presente Seeks to Pass a Local Resolution in Support of Immigrant Children and their Families. 

Media Contact
Patricia Montes, Centro Presente (617) 959 3108  

Boston, MA- One year after the crisis of unaccompanied minors crossing the Mexico-U.S. border, Centro Presente seeks to pass a local resolution in Boston in support of immigrant children and their families.

The resolution would reaffirm the right of these children to an education in the Boston Public Schools, the right of these children to due process in the hearing of their cases and the responsibility of U.S. authorities to ensure that these children are not deported to a situation that is violent or that knowingly puts their lives in jeopardy.

Centro Presente plans to coordinate with affected families and allies to schedule meetings with all members of the Boston City Council to educate them about the resolution and work with them on its language.

Through this process we want to inform local elected officials about the situation that these children and their families face and raise awareness of the structural causes that force the migration of children and youth,” said Patricia Montes, Executive Director of Centro Presente.

According to the Migration Policy Institute between 2011 and 2014 the number of unaccompanied children apprehended entering the U.S. through Mexico increased from 15,949 to 68,551. While the number has fallen to a projected flow of about 39,000 per year at the start of 2015, this has been due to increased enforcement not to changes in the underlying factors that force their migration. Fleeing violence in their native Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador these children have fled not only to the U.S. but also increasingly to neighboring nations including Panama, Belize, and Costa Rica.

According to Kids in Need of Defense KIND, a leading organization that protects unaccompanied children facing the United States immigration system, over 60% of these children meet the legal characteristics to be treated as refugees.

Most kids traveled here to escape domestic abuse, gang violence, human trafficking, or extreme poverty in their home countries. Some come to the U.S. to seek asylum, some to seek better opportunities, and some simply to reunite with family members already living in the United States. Many of these children are deported without ever having spoken to an attorney.