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Authors: Roberts, Eleanor F.
Advisors: Stilz, Anna
Department: Politics
Class Year: 2015
Abstract: This thesis explores the dimensions of the United States’ obligation to unaccompanied minor immigrants from Central America. Current immigration trends have sparked a debate about how to treat such immigrants. I address the normative dimensions of this debate by discussing the special vulnerabilities that these minors face as children, asylum seekers, and Central Americans. Accepted democratic principles protect people with those vulnerabilities. These principles have implications for U.S. policy. The United States uses the best interests principle for adjudication of children, and such a principle ought to extend to adjudication of unaccompanied child immigrants. Moreover, refugee law can be interpreted in many ways, but the best interpretation would treat Central American youth as refugees, because they belong to a social group that suffers gang persecution. Finally, the relationship that the United States has with Central Americans entails remedial duties, which the U.S. government has not fulfilled. Until these duties are fulfilled, the Unit ed States has a responsibility to accept child immigrants from that region. Democratic commitments to people with these three vulnerabilities requires the Untied States government to allow unaccompanied Central American minors to gain resident status with in its borders. By highlighting the discrepancy between immigration policies and accepted democratic commitments, this social criticism calls fellow citizens to support policies that provide resident status to unaccompanied children from Central America.
Extent: 112 pages
Type of Material: Princeton University Senior Theses
Language: en_US
Appears in Collections:Politics, 1927-2017

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