“Over the weekend, we have seen multiple headlines around migrant children being lost, and in some cases, handed over to traffickers, by the US Government. While some of the facts shared are technically true, there are a number of complexities and nuances that must be considered to understand the full picture of what’s happening, and exactly what it is we should be advocating for.

In response to horrific violence largely fueled by the growing dominances of gangs with origins in the US, the number of individuals fleeing from the Central American countries of El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala and seeking safety in other countries—including but not limited to the US—has increased dramatically in the past several years. `

Some of these individuals have been children or teenagers who have made the dangerous journey without a parent. They are referred to as “unaccompanied minors”. Others are mothers or fathers accompanied by their children, fleeing together as a family. While some individuals from these countries may be driven by economic factors that would not qualify them for asylum, many others intend to apply for asylum in the United States due to legitimate fears.

US laws allow for those with a credible fear of persecution to request asylum whether they enter the US on a temporary visa, report to a port of entry along the border, or are apprehended entering the United States without having been inspected.”

This is an excerpt of an article written by Matthew Soerens, US Director of Church Mobilization for World Relief (resettlement partner of Arrive Ministries), originally published by The Justice Conference. Read the full article