The Path of the Unaccompanied Minor:
Examining Legal and Community Responses to the Humanitarian Crisis
Thursday, April 9
10 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
(come early - come late - stay as long as you can)
Law School, Room 101 and Commons
In the past year approximately 51,000 unaccompanied children fleeing violence in Central America have crossed the border into the U.S. seeking safety. Once apprehended, children as young as 6, have been housed in detention facilities until they can be placed with a family member, sponsor, or in foster care. They have remained there until their court date which can be a two-year wait. The poor physical conditions of the detention facilities, the lack of essential support services for children, the inadequate legal representation, and the overall justice and humaneness of the immigration and legal systems have been brought into serious question by the UNHCR, human rights and humanitarian organizations, religious bodies, the media, the courts and attorneys who represent the children.
The Path of the Unaccompanied Minor: Examining Legal and Community Responses to a Humanitarian Crisis is a joint initiative of the Villanova School of Law Clinical Program and the Villanova Partnership with Catholic Relief Services. Drawing on the expertise of those with first-hand experience working with unaccompanied immigrant children from Central America, the purpose of the conference is to shed light on the seriousness of the crisis and the moral and ethical responsibility to address it, and to recommend specific action on a number of levels that can be taken.
The all-day conference will trace the path of the unaccompanied children through five aspects of their journey: the push factors driving them out their home countries, the conditions of the detention facilities the children are held in when they reach the U.S., the legal obstacles they face when they arrive, the unique challenges they face integrating into U.S. communities, and their fate if deported. It will also identify resources, current efforts and contacts to aid in this crisis, and suggest effective ways you can help.
A complete list of panelists and approved CLE credits will be announced at a later date. To register for lunch and/or CLE credit, please visit http://thepathofunaccompaniedminors.eventbrite.com/