Latino USA

Minor Crossers / by Maria Hinojosa | May 25, 2012

Minor Crossers
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Every year, thousands of unaccompanied minors cross the U.S/Mexico border to be reunited with family.  But this spring, the Department of Health and Human Services reported that the number of minors arriving alone had nearly doubled. We speak to Pulitzer Prize winning author and journalist Sonia Nazario about who these minors are and why the numbers have shot up.

Click here to download this week’s show. Photo courtesy of the Los Angeles Times.


Sonia Nazario is a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and author of Enrique’s Journey, a national bestseller that has been adopted by more than 50 universities across the country. She has spent more than 20 years reporting and writing about social issues, hunger, drug addiction, and immigration, most recently as a projects reporter for the Los Angeles Times.

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Skip Conrad says:

I wonder whether these unaccompanied minors would be eligible for relief under the Dream Act, whose language targets those children who have been smuggled into the country by their parents, and therefore had no choice in the matter. If the minor is travelling alone, does he become ineligible for the Dream Act?

Elizabeth G. Kennedy says:

Sonia Nazario’s piece is excellent, especially because she continues to update us on Enrique’s life. I agree with her conclusions of what needs to change: that US policy must shift from stemming the flow here to creating jobs there and that unaccompanied minors must be guaranteed legal representation in the courts. However, since 2006, much has changed in the quality of care provided to unaccompanied minors, just as screening processes mandated by the TVPRA have ensured that many stay in the US versus being repatriated (the exception to this is Mexican unaccompanied minors though). Since violence is indeed increasing in Central American AND Mexico, the question that must additionally be addressed is why Mexican unaccompanied minors are automatically repatriated, when Central Americans often get reunited with family in the US?

Grace Sarvotham says:

This is such a ssad story

Flavia says:

know the fucked up part is my frneid is in her early twenties! no drivers license, no advance education, no job experience!!!! SHE WAS HIRED THE FIRST WEEK SHE LANDED THIS COUNTRY SPEAKING A FOREIGN LANGUAGE! she is barely a high school drop out but because she was BLOND AND BLUE EYED FROM EUROPE .not only did SHE GET HER DRIVERS LICENSE (can’t even write english or speak it) SHE GOT HIRED AT ONE OF THE BIGGEST CASINO (I.E. HUGH HEFNER LOVE SHACK) WTF ..

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