Stinchcomb, Dennis, and Eric Hershberg. “Unaccompanied Migrant Children from Central America: Context, Causes, and Responses.” SSRN Electronic Journal, 7th ser. (November 2014): 1-44. doi:10.2139/ssrn.2524001.

The research by Stinchcomb and Hershberg, sheds light to  why unaccompanied children and families from Central America, specifically Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras are immigrating to the United States in high numbers. Stinchcomb and Hershberg’s  research revealed that the push factors of children and family migration are gang/family violence, lack of jobs, not enough government support, and seeking better opportunities in a stable country. In their research, the authors found that most families and children have to endure many obstacles pre and post journey of immigrating to the United States. While in the journey, Stinchcomb and Hershberg’s research demonstrated children and families are exposed to extortion by Mexican cartels, sexual assault, kidnapping, human trafficking, and forced disappearances. Once immigrants reach American soil, some turn themselves in to border patrols, seeking asylum. This is a high risk as asylum is granted when showing extreme cases of hardships in their home countries, and for many immigrants it’s hard to prove hardships because there isn’t hard copy evidence of their hardships to prove their allegations.

Dennis Stinchcomb and Eric Hershberg’s research goes deeper into the why in recent years the United States has had an increased number of unaccompanied migrant children and families. The methods these authors used was that their evidence included past researches from the Center of Latin American and Latino Studies of the American University in Washington, DC, which they have investigated and written many of them. In addition graphs that were provided by the U.S Department of Homeland Security, and many reputable news articles, including non-profit organization such as InSight Crime were used to support their claims. Dennis Stinchcomb is an Assistant Director for research center for Latin American and Latino Studies in American University, Washington, DC. He has a masters in Spanish and Latin American studies, and is currently managing a research in immigration and gangs in Latin America. Eric Hershberg is the director of the center for Latin American and Latino Studies and a professor of government at American University. Hershberg has vast experience in research, conducting studies  in how immigrants integrate in various parts of the U.S. He has also served as a consultant for many development and educational agencies, including the Ford Foundation, and is a member of many boards.

This article is useful in understanding more of the causes for child and family migration into the United States. Since our class has a focus in Human Rights in Latin America, this article sheds light into the abuse of rights Central American immigrants face in their home countries, in their journey to cross the border, and the obstacles they face when reaching the United States. This research is also valuable, as it can be used as evidence in support of asylum seekers, when they don’t have much evidence to support the violence that they experience other than their words. With this scholarly article, backed up with evidence from both the U.S and Central American countries, more knowledge is provided for people who don’t understand the reason why many Central Americans are fleeing their countries.


Caption: Honduran migrants cross the Suchiate River between Guatemala and Mexico in a makeshift raft. PHOTO: PEDRO PARDO/AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE/GETTY IMAGE.

This image appeared in the Wall Street Journal in an article titled, “Stranded at Mexico’s Southern Border, Many Consider Their Options” by Juan Montes in October 20, 2018. I chose this image because of how it illustrates the dangers children migrants and families face when immigrating to the United States, which is what the research of Stinchcomb and Hershberg focuses on.

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