Date of Award

Spring 5-2024

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


International Studies

First Advisor

Victoria Carty

Second Advisor

Nancy Rios-Contreras

Third Advisor

Carrie Rosenbaum


This research paper explores the migration journey of unaccompanied immigrant children (UICs) from the Northern Triangle countries of Central America to the United States, focusing on the reasons why children leave their home countries, the challenges they face during their journey, and the legal processes they undergo upon arrival in the USA. Drawing on Critical Race Theory (CRT) and Latino Critical Race Theory (LatCrit), the study examines the structural inequalities and injustices that drive migration, as well as the impact of trauma and mental health issues on UICs. The paper also analyzes the policies and frameworks in place to protect UICs, such as the Flores Settlement Agreement and the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act. Through a comprehensive review of the literature and data available, the research highlights the need for a more humane and just immigration system that prioritizes the well-being and protection of vulnerable populations. By centering the experiences of UICs and advocating for policy changes that address the root causes of migration, we can create a more inclusive and supportive environment for all individuals seeking sanctuary in the United States.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



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