Children at the Border

An American Human Rights Crisis

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About the Book

The Trump administration violated the rights of migrant children who fled brutal violence in the Northern Triangle of Central America. Their rights are human rights. This book explores the administration’s policies and practices of family separation at the U.S. southern border and its confinement of migrant children that, in some cases, experts describe as torture. Specific connections are made between harmful actions on the part of government officials and agencies, and provisions that protect against them in The Convention on the Rights of the Child and four other UN conventions. Awareness of the violations and the safeguards afforded to children may help preserve children’s human rights.

The book also examines efforts of humanitarian organizations, courts, and legislators to reclaim and defend migrant children’s rights. The author’s research includes information from international and national government documents, news reports, and interviews and stories that resulted from networking with advocates in both Arizona and Mexico. The young asylum seekers were called “criminals” and “not-innocent” by the President. However, his narrative is contradicted by vignettes that describe children’s own experiences and beliefs and by photographs of them taken by advocates in Arizona and by the author in shelters in Mexico where families await asylum.

About the Author(s)

Jo-Anne Wilson-Keenan is a career educator. She has written or co-written nine articles, seven book chapters, and one book. She lives on Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

Bibliographic Details

Jo-Anne Wilson-Keenan

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 278
Bibliographic Info: 32 photos, appendix, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2021
pISBN: 978-1-4766-8542-7
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4334-2
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix
Guide to Acronyms 1
Preface 3
1. The Dawn of Outrage 9
2. Family Separation 27
3. Increasing Outrage 47
4. The Colossal Failure of Reunification 62
5. Detainment at Border Patrol Stations 74
6. Detainment in Office of Refugee Resettlement Facilities 87
7. A Horrifying Reality 105
8. The Deaths of Children 117
9. Further Harm 128
10. Families in Mexico 147
11. Refugees in the Time of ­Covid-19 167
12. Seeking Relief Through the Courts 179
13. Seeking Relief Through Congress 206
14. Recommendations 217
The State of Things Today 227
Appendix 231
Chapter Notes 233
Bibliography 237
Index 259