Streams

Child Migrants in New York

Friday, June 20, 2014

Immigration Advocates Protest Deportations In Federal Plaza Last Month. (Mirela Iverac/WNYC)

Unaccompanied minors crossing the US-Mexico border are also arriving in the New York area. Lenni Benson, professor of law at New York Law School and director of the Safe Passage Project, a non-profit that provides free legal counsel to immigrant children facing deportation, talks about why they're coming here, what kind of legal help they need and the bigger picture of children migrating to the US.

 

 

Guests:

Lenni Benson

Comments [20]

Martin Luther

Why is it that the federal government chased Sister Peng to the corners of the Earth for importing a few hundred workers but when some evil cult drops tens of thousands of destitute orphans on our border they do nothing?

Jun. 22 2014 12:37 PM
Cathy Howell from El Salvador

A - do some research on the role of the USA in creating the conditions that drive people north - adults and children - our foreign policy is a driver of migration
B - these young folks are not just going to the USA - they are also going to Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama and Nicaragua - all places that are safer than El Salvador, Guatemala and Hondura - all three are countries where the USA has funded right-wing forces for years - and now are victimized by the drug trade that we drive by being the consumers - as well as the "drug war" that we finance
C - there is a whole generation of young people here in El Salvador whose parents are in the USA trying to make a living and send money home - a lot of them are now old enough to seek out their parents in an attempt to unite their families
D - if we citizens of the USA continue to say silent when our government allows corporations to exploit workers in the USA and in the developing world and funds right-wing politicians who are allied with the oligarchies in those countries and increasingly with multinational corporations who come to countries like El Salvador to pay poverty wages and dump their toxic waste, we will continue to see a flow of workers and their children trying to survive

Jun. 20 2014 10:41 PM
Cathy Howell from El Salvador

A - do some research on the role of the USA in creating the conditions that drive people north - adults and children - our foreign policy is a driver of migration
B - these young folks are not just going to the USA - they are also going to Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama and Nicaragua - all places that are safer than El Salvador, Guatemala and Hondura - all three are countries where the USA has funded right-wing forces for years - and now are victimized by the drug trade that we drive by being the consumers - as well as the "drug war" that we finance
C - there is a whole generation of young people here in El Salvador whose parents are in the USA trying to make a living and send money home - a lot of them are now old enough to seek out their parents in an attempt to unite their families
D - if we citizens of the USA continue to say silent when our government allows corporations to exploit workers in the USA and in the developing world and funds right-wing politicians who are allied with the oligarchies in those countries and increasingly with multinational corporations who come to countries like El Salvador to pay poverty wages and dump their toxic waste, we will continue to see a flow of workers and their children trying to survive

Jun. 20 2014 10:41 PM
suzinne from Bronx

What no one seems to be talking about is - are these parents sending their kids over here? Talk about abusive parenting? They should all be thrown in prison. That's my opinion.

Jun. 20 2014 08:14 PM
The Truth from Becky

We should facilitate the swift RETURN of these children back to their native countries and let them locate and and place these children back with their families, post-haste!

Jun. 20 2014 11:30 AM
Mark

There is a certain group in the United States ruling class that won't be happy until America looks like a Spanish version of India.

Jun. 20 2014 11:14 AM
Arturo

If we absorb this surge of undocumented child migrants, will it encourage on-going waves of more undocumented child migrants? What can be done in Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras to deal with this crisis?

Jun. 20 2014 11:06 AM
Mr. Bad from NYC

I just love this stuff. Benson states unequivocally that kids are fleeing gang violence but gang violence is not a reason for amnesty but they will work with these kids to see that they stay. It's practically an admission that their stated purpose is to contravene the law not merely advocate. Meanwhile this is all big news south of the border where the news is out it's a free for all:

http://elmundo.com.sv/prorrogan-suspension-de-deportacion-a-estudiantes

Jun. 20 2014 11:05 AM
Taher from Croton on Hudson

Gangs, social braking down, massive drug crimes, human trafficking is the legacy of Mr.Ronald Reagan and his Central American wars of the 1980’s. Now America has to deal with the criminally incompetent Republican foreign policies of the 1980’s.

Jun. 20 2014 10:51 AM
L David from nyc

I just did a brief stint in a (private) hospital in Manhattan and the kid sharing my room was an undocumented immigrant from Guatemala. Not sure his back-story.

Jun. 20 2014 10:51 AM
Mr. Bad from NYC

If this group is intentionally subverting the law and teaching these kids how to lie, shade the truth, and construct a "factual" history that will increase the likelihood they will receive asylum it is a violation of the ABA rules of professional conduct:

(3) offer evidence that the lawyer knows to be false. If a lawyer, the lawyer’s client, or a witness called by the lawyer, has offered material evidence and the lawyer comes to know of its falsity, the lawyer shall take reasonable remedial measures, including, if necessary, disclosure to the tribunal. A lawyer may refuse to offer evidence, other than the testimony of a defendant in a criminal matter, that the lawyer reasonably believes is false.

The Safe Passage Project may need to be investigated and anyone who has knowledge of unethical conduct should report that conduct to the ABA immediately.

Jun. 20 2014 10:49 AM
Diana from New Jersey

Good points! What is the financial role/obligation of the home governments in taking care of their citizens? I want to hear discussion of that angle. Can they do anything - or not?

Jun. 20 2014 10:48 AM
HB from New York

Ask her about the people who seek and are granted political asylum in the US because their homeland is so dangerous but who regularly return to their homeland to visit.

Also ask her if other countries are receiving asylum seekers. Canada? Mexico for the Honduran/El Salvadorians? Venezuela? In Asia does anyone seek asylum in China or Vietnam or Singapore?

Jun. 20 2014 10:46 AM
Mr. Bad from NYC

They belong back home with their parents or in their country of origin with relatives or whatever they do in that country with orphans and the faster the better because they should be in school. Obvious solution is obvious.

"Grandma said it wasn't safe anymore"? Are we talking about the South Side of Chicago or Mexico? What a load of cr*p. Following this idea to its logical conclusion and we should just annex every country south of the border and "save" all the children. Nonsense.

Jun. 20 2014 10:42 AM
Joyce from NYC

The world has an UNLIMITED capacity to generate unwanted kids.

Domestic violence is the NORM OF MANY CULTURES. As US feminists say, "That's their culture, who are we to tell them ….")

HOW MANY OF THEM ARE WE SUPPOSED TO TAKE?

I am old enough to remember when

- Nixon said to Mao: "You should let your citizens leave."

- Mao responded: "Ok. How many do you want? 3 million? 30 million? 300 million?"

- Nixon shut up.

Jun. 20 2014 10:42 AM
Megan Reilly Cayten from Brooklyn

Are there organizations that accept Spanish-speaking volunteers to help these kids get assimilated?

Jun. 20 2014 10:42 AM
Jessie Henshaw from Way Uptown

Isn't it obvious, the wave of kids escaping here on the rumors of there being a program of helping them integrate is cause by the years of their passing back information to their homes that we have the program for integrating them to new families as you just described.

It's a very clear "viral" innovation based on their positive experience with it.

Jun. 20 2014 10:41 AM
Roni from LIC

What can New Yorkers (who aren't lawyers) do in terms of volunteering or donating to assist the children that end up here?

Jun. 20 2014 10:41 AM
Diana from New Jersey

What is the role of the home governments in resolving this problem? How do the local consulates and embassies get involved when this child arrives on their own in the U.S.?

Jun. 20 2014 10:41 AM
Diana

This is not new - It's been going on as long as immigrants have been coming to the US. Think of young children sent on boats to Ellis Island.

Jun. 20 2014 10:39 AM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

Get the WNYC Morning Brief in your inbox.
We'll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.