The Detention of Migrant Children: A Comparative Study of the United States and Mexico
AuthorLee, Jennifer J.
Velázquez, Elisa Ortega
Permanent link to this recordhttp://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12613/6753
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AbstractDetention facilities are no place for children who are irregular migrants. Yet both the United States (US) and Mexico have struggled with how to respond to the arrival of Central American children who are primarily fleeing violence. In these neighbouring countries, the detention of children reflects both an ineffective and misguided strategy to deter people from moving across their southern borders. This focus on border control is further reinforced by the US outsourcing of enforcement controls to Mexico. In the US, a preoccupation with border control can quickly undermine the purported interest of protecting migrant children because they lack the fundamental right to be free from detention. In Mexico, its role as a buffer State causes it to overlook its human rights, constitutional, and federal law commitments to the fundamental rights of children, while allowing practical obstacles to stand in the way of these legal obligations. This article examines how the political imperative of border control in the US influences the various approaches taken by the US and Mexico towards the detention of migrant children. It analyses the shortcomings and best practices of each system and concludes with recommended reforms that actualize the right of migrant children to be free from detention.
CitationJennifer J. Lee & Elisa Ortega Velázquez, The Detention of Migrant Children: A Comparative Study of the United States and Mexico, 32 INT’L J. REFUGEE L. 227 (2020).
Citation to related workThis is a pre-copyedited, author-produced version of an article accepted for publication in the International Journal of Refugee Law following peer review. The version of record, Jennifer J. Lee & Elisa Ortega Velázquez, The Detention of Migrant Children: A Comparative Study of the United States and Mexico, 32 INT’L J. REFUGEE L. 227 (2020) is available online at: https://academic.oup.com/ijrl/article-abstract/32/2/227/5875434 and doi:10.1093/ijrl/eeaa014.
Has partInternational Journal of Refugee Law, Vol. 32, Iss. 2
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