Document Type

Capstone Project (Open Access)

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)


Humanities & Communication


Human Communications concentration Pre-Law


Between the year 2018 through 2019, there has been a sixty-percent increase in unaccompanied children at the Southwest border where they are later transferred to the care of the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR). The dramatic increase in undocumented children are immigrants from Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador (the Northern Triangle countries of Central America). (Cardosa, Brabeek, Stinchcomb, Heidbrink, Price, Fil.Garcia, Crea & Zayas pg 1,2). During those two years the Trump administration passed many harsh policies designed to decrease the flow of migration, yet it has only done the opposite with the new formations of caravans that are headed to the land of freedom. On April 6 2018, U.S Attorney General announced the Zero-Tolerance policy where unauthorized immigrant parents traveling with their children were being criminally prosecuted and separated from their children. According to the New York Times by the end of 2018 more than three thousand immigrant children were separated from their parents. A federal court issued an order requiring the reunification of 2,737 children who were separated from their parents as of June 2018. The policy was meant to deter migrant families from entering the country at the southwest border. Most of those families were fleeing violence, and persecution in their own native country. This policy sent many parents into months of anxiety and depression, unable to communicate yet alone not knowing where their children were sent. Under this policy, the Trump Administration made it difficult for relatives of the immigrant children to take the children into their own homes. Many of these children ranging from toddlers to youth experienced pre- and in-transit migration trauma while arriving at facilities after being separated from their families. Many of the youth experienced depression, psychological distress, academic disengagement, and maltreatment. (Cardosa, Brabeek, Stinchcomb, Heidbrink, Price, Fil.Garcia, Crea & Zayas pg 1,2)