A critical examination of policies and practices impacting the education of unaccompanied immigrant children in the United States
Keywords:education policy, critical race theory, immigration policy, unaccompanied immigrant children
Beginning in 2014, increasing numbers of unaccompanied immigrant children (UIC) arrived and were apprehended at the United States-Mexico border. These children were fleeing violence, poverty, environmental disasters, as well as state-sanctioned violence and political instability influenced by interventions and support from the U.S. government spanning several decades. The purpose of this article was to examine the factors that shape the educational experiences of UIC in the United States during and after detention. The following questions guided this analysis: (1) What policies and practices impact the education of apprehended UIC in the United States? (2) What are the conditions formerly apprehended UIC encounter in schools? A review of the literature between 2000 and 2022 was conducted, including peer-reviewed articles, commentaries, legal documents, and news articles. The literature raises concerns about the quality, effectiveness, and availability of academic resources for these children. This review demonstrates the need for additional research and policy changes aimed at improving the educational conditions of UIC in shelters and communities after reunification, and it offers recommendations to school districts, policymakers, and researchers on how to best address the academic and non-academic needs of formerly apprehended UIC in the United States.
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Copyright (c) 2023 Ruth M. López, Natalia Giraldo-Santiago
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