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Wednesday, July 2, 2014

What Do We Owe to Child Migrants?

By Rachel Fabi and Mohini Banerjee
Bioethics Forum
Originally posted June 26, 2014

From October 1, 2013, through June 15, 2014, more than 52,000 child migrants crossed the U.S.-Mexico border in South Texas, overwhelming the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The Obama administration has declared this an “urgent humanitarian situation” and has authorized DHS to establish a Unified Coordinating Group led by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to provide for the children’s humanitarian needs. While the recent upsurge, and the myths circulating among migrants that there is a window of opportunity for children seeking asylum (or for women with young children), have caught the attention of policy-makers and the media, a May 2014 report by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) concludes that this pattern of “mixed” migration, which includes children fleeing violent home countries, in addition to more typical economic migrants, began in 2009.

What do we owe these children?  What is an appropriate ethical and legal framework for exploring and articulating our obligations, both in terms of immediate humanitarian aid and beyond?

The entire article is here.