Unaccompanied Alien Children: An Overview

This report begins with an analysis of data on the recent surge in unaccompanied alien children (UAC) crossing the border. It then discusses current policy on their treatment, care, and custody according to US law.

There are two laws and one settlement that most directly affect U.S. policy for the treatment and administrative processing of UAC: the Flores Settlement Agreement of 1997; the Homeland Security Act of 2002; and the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008. These directives are described in further detail as well as how the current crisis – the sheer number of children – has challenged current practice.

The report discusses both current legislation as well as the economic challenges of giving the children due process. 

Published 2014-07-23

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