A child is the truth with a dirty face,
the beauty with a cut finger,
wisdom with gum in her hair,
and hope for the future
with a frog in his pocket.
Enrique rambal

Why are so many unaccompanied children from Central America eagerly bidding to enter the US? As the crow flies, it occurs to me that the parents of these minors, terrified by the violence and overwhelmed by the poverty of their countries, do not hesitate to send them in search of a better future.

This is how, on the arduous road to the promised land, these children must face serious obstacles and submit to a string of abuses of all kinds. If fortune favors them and they manage to reach the coveted goal, they will enter the border limbo where their fate will be defined. Here will begin the struggle and coalescence between the natural law of survival and the formal laws of immigration.

Child protection regulations.

The Universal Declaration of the Rights of the Child establishes that all children, without any exception or distinction or discrimination based on race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status, they must enjoy the rights stipulated in the Declaration.  

The Document emphasizes that the child will enjoy special protection and will have opportunities and services so that he can develop physically, mentally, morally, spiritually and socially in a healthy and normal way, as well as in conditions of freedom and dignity. In enacting laws to this end, the paramount consideration to be served will be the best interests of the child. In short, the child must, in all circumstances, be among the first to receive protection and relief.

And it is logical that children should be given special and priority attention because they are not only physically weaker beings but also because they are the raw material that will invigorate the future of humanity. Children are born innocent and unprejudiced and therefore are likely to easily absorb the knowledge and behavior patterns that are instilled in them.

Children are not to blame for their social or economic condition and, therefore, do not deserve to be treated as one more variable in political chess. Returning these children to the hell they have been fleeing from would be ruthless and selfish.

The legal management of unaccompanied minors.

Children who arrive at the border alone are usually apprehended by Customs and Border Protection agents (US Customs and Border Protection) who must, within the following 72 hours, hand them over to the custody of the Refugee Relocation Office (Office of Refugee Resettlement).

The Office of Refugee Resettlement will house the children and arrange for a relative or legal guardian to take care of them in the U.S. If the Office does not find a sponsor in a timely manner, then the child must be housed in shelters. of retention that offer the comfort and basic services necessary to lead a balanced life.

The legal asylum procedure for unaccompanied children is limited to interviews with asylum officers and shields minors against expedited deportation. Immigration judges have no direct contact with minors.

To obtain protection, it must be shown that the minor fears being persecuted in their country of origin for at least one of the five protected grounds: race, religion, nationality, political opinion or particular social group.

If the unaccompanied minor were to lose the legal case, they should be deported to their country of origin. However, in the cases of natives of Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador, who make up the vast majority of the minors held, there is a high probability that they will be granted asylum due to the extreme conditions of violence prevailing in those countries.

The sowing of the future.

The mass immigration of unaccompanied children to the US represents one of the first and greatest challenges facing the Biden administration. The short-term solution will probably consist of accelerating the asylum procedure for minors and getting them sponsors quickly. A public campaign to recruit legal guardians could help with this.

In the meantime, the Government must allocate the necessary resources to build and equip adequate detention centers, which guarantee living conditions for incarcerated minors where they are provided with education, recreation, food, medical assistance and sports activities.

In the medium term, the United States and its international allies should promote a kind of "Marshall Plan" of massive investments to revitalize the economies of Central America and generate internal conditions of security and prosperity that discourage the emigration of the nationals of those countries. countries.

And, to continue honoring childhood, I close these reflections with this wise phrase by Khalil Gibran: Protect me from the wisdom that does not cry, from the philosophy that does not laugh, and from the greatness that does not bow down to children.

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Author: Alfredo González – (www.negociosenflorida.com)

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