Melissa Alcaraz is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at Brigham Young University.
“Between October 1, 2014, and March 1, 2023, the US Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) took custody of 568,890 unaccompanied migrant children. Drawing on a unique dataset that ORR produced in response to Freedom of Information Act requests and litigation, we provide the first comprehensive, long-term demographic study of the population of unaccompanied migrant children while in ORR custody. We contextualize ORR’s treatment of the children in its custody by identifying legal standards governing children’s care. We also examine how specific instances of legal, political, and social change in the United States correlate with fluctuations in the origin-based demographics of unaccompanied migrant children seeking refuge in the US.”