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Readers React: Real help for immigrant children

As researchers of child migration, we applaud the Department of Justice’s recent initiative to address the legal needs of unaccompanied minors. (“Hundreds more youth surge across border, overwhelming U.S. officials,” June 7)

Yet in spite of best intentions, funding recent law school graduates through AmeriCorps volunteers hardly replaces seasoned immigration counsel who understand the complexities of immigration law and are familiar with the unique backgrounds and needs of young clients.

More important, the provision of legal counsel alone misses the totality of the concern, including a history of U.S. military involvement in Central America, imbalanced economic agreements and the United States’ mass institutionalization of children under the guise of “humanitarianism.”

Lauren Heidbrink, Chicago

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Michele Statz, Seattle

Heidbrink is an assistant professor of social and behavioral sciences at National Louis University; Statz is a graduate student in anthropology at the University of Washington.


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