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The Plight of Undocumented, Unaccompanied Minors / by A.C. Valdez, Michael Johnson | June 20, 2014

The Plight of Undocumented, Unaccompanied Minors

For the past few weeks, the US Southern border has been the site of a humanitarian crisis: a surge in the number of unaccompanied, undocumented minors trying to cross into the United States, mostly from Central America. The situation has created a national outcry and has overwhelmed immigration authorities like the Border Patrol, in charge of holding the children for within 72 hours, the detention time limit set by Border Patrol. The situation prompted this tweet, republished on Vox, from the Border Patrol Union showing the insensitivity of the organization to the situation. The tweet has since been deleted.

Latino USA reached out to K, an anonymous worker at a place where undocumented child immigrants are held and processed before being released to family or deported. Many of these children came to the United States by themselves. K tells Maria Hinojosa about the conditions the children live in, and discusses the Texas facility known to the children as la hielera, or the icebox, where many of them were previously held, in cold, crowded conditions.


Photo of U.S. Customs and Border Protection Nogales, AZ Placement Center — not mentioned in this story — by Ross D. Franklin-Pool/Getty Images





AC Valdez

A.C. Valdez comes to Latino USA by way of public radio shows like America Abroad, The Diane Rehm Show, WAMU-FM's The Kojo Nnamdi Show, and Tell Me More. He's worked with reporters from around the world, coordinated performances with groups like The Noisettes, and done in-depth work on the U.S. military's counterinsurgency strategy in Iraq and Afghanistan. A native of Washington, D.C., A.C. Is a graduate of Emerson College.


Michael Simon Johnson

Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Michael Simon Johnson spend most of his childhood making music and groaning when his parents put on NPR in the car. So naturally he graduated from Emerson College with a degree in Sound Design, moved to New York and made his way into public radio. As an engineer, he has worked for Afropop Worldwide, WNYC's Radio Rookies, and Jazz at Lincoln Center. He commits much of his time to working on radio and multimedia projects but can often be found playing the bass, rock climbing, and traveling.

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