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Immigrant Children’s Rights in San Antonio

Posted by Ryan Hall

What We All Need to Know About the Rights of Unaccompanied Immigrant Children

Melissa Cuadrado, a staff attorney at The Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights, engaged the University of Incarnate Word (UIW) community on September 20, 2016, in a conversation exploring how we can each make a difference in the lives of unaccompanied children. Melissa’s overall message included the importance of actively seeking the truth and not simply listening to the views of others. Together we explored the influence that the media has had on the way unaccompanied children are treated in the United States. From Melissa’s presentation, I learned that thousands of children each year risk death, live amongst violence, and are victims of human trafficking. Many of these events happen while the children bravely travel unaccompanied on trains to the United States from Honduras, El Salvado, Guatemala, and Mexico. Sadly, many children die, get seriously injured, or get immediately sent back to their home ― and later try to make the trip again. Many of those who do survive the dangerous journey, are then detained once they arrive in the United States. Some of these children have been as young as five years old. I walked away from Melissa’s presentation having realized that we each hold a responsibility to assist others, especially our children. The presentation was co-sponsored by the Ettling Center for Civic Leadership

Are you interested in volunteering for The Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights? The Center is new to the San Antonio area. They have other offices in Chicago and New Jersey. Their mission is to promote the best interests of unaccompanied immigrant children with due regard to the child’s expressed wishes. The position statement of the Center begins with “Every young immigrant deserves to be safe. Young children who flee violence, abuse and poverty need an advocate, not an adversary.” You can find out more about The Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights at the following website: Report by Dr. Stephanie Grote-Garcia

Photo Credit: Sr. Martha Ann Kirk
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