IOFA Talk

Adolescents & the Border Crisis, Pt. 3:  The Impact of Border Migration on U.S. Youth Policy

Placement with relatives in America does not end the child’s vulnerability to trafficking (Lind, 2014).  With the dramatic rise in UAC, there has been increased pressure to get UACs out of shelters and into placement with family members as quickly as possible.  The Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) has stated that they do a home study for only certain categories of UAC, as well as follow up visits for at-risk children (ORR, 2013). This raises concern that a number of placements are not being adequately screened for safety.  A similar practice in the 1990s resulted in Chinese immigrants being released to people officials believed were relatives, but turned out to be part of smuggling networks. The smugglers would then extort the immigrants and their families (Lind, 2014).  Although it is still too soon to know if the same thing is happening to these UACs, from 2008-2010, 95% of confirmed labor trafficking survivors in the U.S were foreign-born (Banks & Kyckelhahn, 2011).

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