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. (breakfast 9:15)
(Attend sessions that fit your schedule)
Law School, Room 101 and Commons
Open to the Public - ACS and CLE Approved
- Event is free but Registration is required for lunch
(This program is approved by the Pennsylvania Continuing Legal
Education Board for 3 substantive and 1 ethics CLE credits.)
In the past year approximately 51,000 unaccompanied children fleeing violence in Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador 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 Conference is a joint initiative of the Villanova School of Law Clinical Program, the Villanova Partnership with Catholic Relief Services and Villanova Campus Ministry. Drawing on the expertise of those who have first-hand experience working with these children from the “Northern Triangle” countries of 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.
This 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 have been 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 to help.