Unaccompanied Children Migrating to the United States: Resources for Philanthropy
GCIR and Hispanics in Philanthropy have joined forces to provide philanthropy with the information and resources needed to respond effectively to the thousands of immigrant children who have come to the United States to escape violence in Central America and Mexico. For additional updates, subscribe to our mailings and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
Definition of Unaccompanied Children in the United States
As defined in the Homeland Security Act of 2002, an unaccompanied alien child is a child who (A) has no lawful immigration status in the United States; (B) has not attained 18 years of age; and (C) with respect to whom—(i) there is no parent or legal guardian in the United States; or (ii) no parent or legal guardian in the United States is available to provide care and physical custody.1
- The Surge in Arrivals of Unaccompanied Immigrant Children: Recommendations for Philanthropic Response, August 14, 2014.
- Even as Border Crossings Slow, Work for Nonprofits Ramps Up, The Chronicle of Philanthropy, November 14, 2014.
- Children in Danger: A Guide to the Humanitarian Challenge at the Border, American Immigration Council, July 10, 2014.
- A Treacherous Journey: Child Migrants Navigating the U.S. Immigration System, Center for Gender & Refugee Studies (CGRS) and Kids in Need of Defense (KIND), February 2014.
- No Childhood Here: Why Central American Children are Fleeing their Homes, American Immigration Council, July 1, 2014.
- Mission to Central America: The Flight of Unaccompanied Children to the United States, Committee on Migration, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, November 2013.
- Statistical Analysis Shows that Violence, Not Deferred Action, Is Behind the Surge of Unaccompanied Children Crossing the Border, Center for American Progress, July 8, 2014.
- Mexico's Other Border: Security, Migration, and the Humanitarian Crisis at the Line with Central America, Washington Office on Latin America, June 2014.
- Children on the Run: Unaccompanied Children Leaving Central America and Mexico and the Need for International Protection, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Regional Office for the United States and the Caribbean, Washington, D.C., March 2014.
- Transnational Crime in Mexico and Central America: Its Evolution and Role in International Migration, The Regional Migration Study Group, November 2012.
- Forced from Home: The Lost Boys and Girls of Central America, Women's Refugee Commission, October 2012.
- Forced Displacement and Protection Needs Produced by New Forms of Violence and Criminality in Central America, International Centre for the Human Rights of Migrants, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, May 2012.
Immigration System, Legal Process
- Unaccompanied Alien Children: A Primer, Bipartisan Policy Center, July 21, 2014.
- The Time is Now: Understanding and Addressing the Protection of Immigrant Children Who Come Alone to the United States, Kids in Need of Defense, February 2013.
- The Flow of Unaccompanied Children through the Immigration System, a Resource for Practitioners, Policy Makers, and Researchers, Center on Immigration and Justice, Vera Institute of Justice, March 2012.
- Children at the Border: The Screening, Protection and Repatriation of Unaccompanied Mexican Minors, Appleseed, 2011.
- The Right to be Heard: Voicing the Due Process Right to Counsel for Unaccompanied Alien Children, Boston College Third World Law Journal, vol. 31, no. 1, Winter 2011.
- Special Immigrant Juvenile Status and Other Immigration Options for Children and Youth, Immigrant Legal Resource Center, 2010.
- Halfway Home: Unaccompanied Children in Immigration Custody, Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, WRC, February 2009.
- What Kind of Welcome? Integration of Central American Unaccompanied Children into Local Communities, Institute for the Study of International Migration at Georgetown University, prepared for the J.M. Kaplan Fund, February 2015.
- Migrants at the Border and Philanthropy at Home, Standford Social Innovation Review, November 21, 2014.
- U.S. Border Crisis: Save the Children's Growing Role in Meeting the Immediate Needs of Children, Save the Children, July 1, 2014.
- Background Memo on Children and Families Fleeing Violence in Central America, Center for American Progress and FrameWorks Institute, June 18, 2014.
- 5 Things You Need to Know About Unaccompanied Children, by Philip E. Wolgin and Angela Maria Kelley, Center for American Progress, June 18, 2014.
- justice AmeriCorps, Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), June 2014.
- Children 12 and under are fastest growing group of unaccompanied minors at U.S. border, Hispanic Trends Project, Pew Research Center, July 22, 2014.
- Number of Latino children caught trying to enter U.S. nearly doubles in less than a year, Hispanic Trends Project, Pew Research Center, June 10, 2014.
- GCIR Communications Toolkit - Contact Harmony Hayes.
- Talking About Unaccompanied Refugee Children Fleeing Harm, The Opportunity Agenda, July 9, 2014.
- Providing Support to Refugee Children at the Border: Messaging, The California Endowment, July 7, 2014.
- Protect the Children, Hispanics in Philanthropy [See press release]
- They Are Children, The California Endowment
- Migration of Central American Minors: Causes and Solutions (video), Latin American Program, Wilson Center, July 24, 2014.
- A Long and Dangerous Road: How Funders Can Respond to the Surge of Unacompanied Children Migrating to the United States (slideshow), GCIR, July 9, 2014.
- Unaccompanied Minors: A Crisis with Deep Roots and No Simple Solutions (audio), Migration Policy Institute, June 25, 2014.
- Webinar: Children Traveling Alone: The Catholic Church's Response (slideshow with audio), Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc., June 20, 2014.
- Unaccompanied Children in the United States (slideshow), by M. Aryah Somers, June 19, 2014.
Federal Press Releases
- Unaccompanied Children Released to Sponsors by County (Jan. 1 - July 31, 2014), Office of Refugee Resettlement, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
- Department of Justice Actions to Address the Influx of Migrants Crossing the Southwest Border in the United States, Department of Justice.
- Department of Justice Announces New Priorities to Address Surge of Migrants Crossing into the U.S., Office of Public Affairs, Department of Justice, July 9, 2014.
- FACT SHEET: Unaccompanied Children from Central America, Office of the Press Secretary, The White House, June 20, 2014.
- Justice Department and CNCS Announce New Partnership to Enhance Immigration Courts and Provide Critical Legal Assistance to Unaccompanied Minors, Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) and Department of Justice, June 6, 2014.
- Operating Policies and Procedures Memorandum 07-01: Guidelines for Immigration Court Cases Involving Unaccompanied Alien Children, by David L. Neal, Office of the Chief Immigration Judge, Executive Office for Immigration Review, U.S. Department of Justice, May 22, 2007.
- Guidelines for Children's Asylum Claims, by Jeff Weiss, Office of International Affairs, Immigration and Naturalization Service, U.S. Department of Justice, December 10, 1998.
Federal and Local Government Resource Pages
- About Unaccompanied Children's Services, Office of Refugee Resettlement.
- NYC Government and Nonprofit Services for Recently Arrived Immigrant Children and Families: Resource and Referral Guide, NYC Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs, October 2014.
- Speak Up and Speak Out: Why Psychologists Should Take Up John Lewis' Call for Immigration Reform, by Melba J. T. Vasquez, Psychology Benefits Society, American Psychological Association, November 12, 2014.
- How Philanthropy Can Help Unaccompanied Child Refugees Now, by Daranee Petsod, Philanthropy News Digest, August 19, 2014.
- Unaccompanied Minors and What You Can Do, by Alex Parker-Guerrero, Daily Kos, August 5, 2014.
- Philanthropy Must Step Up Action to Help Children Crossing the Border, by Diana Campoamor, Chronicle of Philanthropy, July 22, 2014.
- The Children of the Drug Wars: A Refugee Crisis, Not an Immigration Crisis, by Sonia Nazario, The New York Times, July 11, 2014.
- What Is the Right Policy Toward Unaccompanied Children at U.S. Borders?, by Kathleen Newland, Migration Policy Institute, June 2014.
- Innocents at the Border: Immigrant Children Need Safety, Shelter and Lawyers, The Editorial Board, The New York Times, June 16, 2014.
- Children on the Run, The Editorial Board, The New York Times, June 4, 2014.
- Children on the Run, UNHCR. Includes links to UNHCR Resources, background materials, and media coverage on unaccompanied children, as well as a recording of a briefing highlighting the report's findings.
- Index of Information about the Humanitarian Crisis of Unaccompanied Children, Wilson Center. Includes links to articles, reports, and multimedia organized into three broad categories (causes, short-term solutions, and medium- and long-term solutions) and many subcategories.
- LIRS Responds to Crisis at the Border, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service. Includes an FAQ, backgrounder, and LIRS advocacy statements.
- Migrant Rights and Justice: Unaccompanied Children, WRC. Includes links to WRC reports, briefs, and other materials on immigrant women, children, and families in detention.
- Unaccompanied Children: A Resource Page, American Immigration Council. Includes reports, position statements, blog posts, and statistical information.
- Unaccompanied Immigrant Children, National Immigrant Justice Center. Includes FAQs, fact sheets, transcripts from teleconferences and Congressional testimony, and reports.
- Unaccompanied Immigrant Children Resources, Immigrant Legal Resource Center. A chart of links to general resources and legal guides to visa types, relevant laws, and deportation procedures.
Inclusion in this section does not indicate endorsement, nor is it a comprehensive list of the involved organizations.
Lists of local service groups
- Service Providers on the Border, Southern Border Communities Coalition, June 2014
- Division of Unaccompanied (DUCS) Legal Access Project: Pro Bono Referral Resource Guide, Center on Immigration and Justice, Vera Institute of Justice, December 2011.
National and international groups
- Amnesty International
- Human Rights Watch
- International Detention Coalition
- Jesuit Refugee Service
- justice Americorps
- Kids in Need of Defense
- Migration Policy Institute
- Save the Children
- Southern Border Communities Coalition
- UC Hastings Center for Gender & Refugee Studies
- Vera Institute of Justice
- Women’s Refugee Commission
- The Young Center for Immigrant Children's Rights
 Operating Policies and Procedures Memorandum 07-01: Guidelines for Immigration Court Cases Involving Unaccompanied Alien Children, by David L. Neal, Executive Office for Immigration Review, May 22, 2007. http://www.justice.gov/eoir/efoia/ocij/oppm07/07-01.pdf