The United States integrating child refugees
There are numerous homeless, frightened and terrified refugee children who find their ways into the US annually. At its current rate, the number of these unaccompanied children could soon be growing into a humanitarian crisis in the US. Proper avenues should be deployed in integrating these children who seek nothing but help in a country that they feel could be better than their hostile backgrounds. Based on a range of reviews, this paper critically studies the concept of child refugees into the US. Ultimately, the outlines some of the platforms that can be employed to integrate these children into a new country (Scholten et al, 107). This study is based on the fact that; even after finding their ways into the US these children are not assured of horrifying encounters just yet.
I. Who a Child Refugee is
Refugee children are those children who, out of many reasons, move away from their mother nations to other nations. These children are often unaccompanied. That is, they move without resources or even parents. At their arrival in the new nation, such children characteristically show signs of fatigue and trauma; basically instigated by the long horrifying journeys that they encounter. The most common reasons why such children move out of their nations are such like: human trafficking, child molestation, domestic abuse, extreme poverty in home countries, and gangviolence among other factors. In their new nations, such children harbor massive expectations of encountering better lives accompanied with smooth social integration.
In some occasions, immigration into the US means more than a better life to such children. It is reported that approximately 15% of refugee children find their ways into the US out of their pursuit to find their parents. In some cases therefore, immigration of child refugees into the US simply gives such children an avenue of uniting with their long lost families. Unfortunately, most of these children get to be deported back to their countries. In some extreme cases, this occurs even without allowing such children to speak to an attorney (Burlingame77). The lucky ones who remain in America as well are not devoid of a number of frustrations such as difficulty in integrating into the new social and political frameworks. It therefore calls for the involvement of relevant stakeholders to ensure that such children are treated humanely especially in their endeavors to secure proper health services, social and legal framework that they are yearning for and deserve- under the provisions of the international law (Bhabha et al 109).
II. Why child Refugees are sometimes Sent Away
In some occasions, some children get to be deported back to their parent nations. This occurs mostly in cases where proper documentation cannot be found to support their stay in America. Another reason is the provisions of the immigration policies in the US. Institutionally, the US has a limit for the influx of immigrants within their borders (Scholten et al 134). This provision ensures that the population of the US is kept at a stable point so as to ensure an efficient flow and distribution of resources to everybody who, legally, lives within the boundaries of the US.
To ensure equality in allowing immigrants into the borders of the US, there are legal qualifications that one has to go through before they are allowed into this nation. First is the age limits with younger children standing a better chance than those in their teen- ages. Apart from the economic reasons, social factors are another reason why the US does not exemplarily allow for the influx of all child immigrants. Based on their backgrounds, such children are so traumatized that they might be obliged to commit some crimes in the US. Grigorenko (54) asserts that the security forces therefore try their best in thwarting their influx. Finally is the opinion of the populace. Currently, the US is divided almost equally on the issue of immigration. There are quite a number of people who assert that the immigrants should be allowed within the borders as other of almost an equal number refute the same claim. The government therefore plays a neutral role by allowing some immigrants as they deny others the entry.
III. Concerns about Child Refugees
The US, just like other European nations are more worried about the chilling trends of child refugees. Apparently, every year, the rates of the influx of child refugees increase. If entries are allowed for all of them, then the economic balance of the US might be affected. Resources will not be flowing in the same manner in which they have been flowing. Secondly, if the influx rates keep increasing annually, there are high possibilities that the US will be increasing their population figures so fast than they first expected. Finally, giving refugees an automatic constant entry into the US may result into a long term social imbalance in this country (Grigorenko92). Therefore, as much as the US could be committed to allowing immigrants within their borders, they still face challenges that range from economic, social to even political.
IV. Welfare of Child Refugees
Just like any other individuals, child refugees have a lot of needs that they would love to accomplish. Such children apparently have gone through a lot of trauma, injuries inadequate social services on their way into the US. They are horrified out of their experiences and they lack proper education. Effectively, such children are in a massive need for welfare services (In Brown &InKrusteva 103). Not only do such children need social well- being, they as well need proper partnerships, guidance, funding proper training as well as effective technical assistance. Aspects such as education and provision of healthcare or housing should be at the forefront of welfare assistances that get availed to these children.
V. Integrating Refugee Children
According to Brown and Krusteva (71), the US faces a lot of problems in integrating refugee children into their systems. This difficulty could be based on a number of reasons. First is the number of immigrants who access this nation annually. Tens of thousands of children find their way into the borders of US every year. All of these children have equal expectations of getting a better life in this nation. The US government as well as the concerned stakeholders finds it almost impossible to integrate these large numbers. This is based on the fact that it is almost impossible to predict the exact number of immigrants that will access a nation within some periods of time. Thus planning is made difficult, especially in cases where the influx numbers exceeds the expectations. In most occasions, the government of the US is forced to turn to their treasury reserves so as to take care of the extra refugees. This definitely pushes the economy into an imbalance.
Another problem emanates from diversity. Most children who find their way into the US have massive cultural disparities with those in the US. To be fully integrated, one has to understand the basic aspects of culture such as the language or what is right and that which is not right if done. To this effect, integration therefore takes a long time. Language and culture provides even more integrative problems in occasions where such children come in large numbers from a range of backgrounds. Sometimes, bringing such a large group of people could be quite challenging; but not impossible.
Currently, the government provides child refugees with inadequate shelters as well as basic food in their earlier stages of integrating such children. The latter stages involve educating the refugees. As much as these strategies have aided into making a proper approach, they have not been so effective since most children die even after finding their way through the borders of the US. Effective integrative strategies should be those that are characteristically inclusive. Even before getting the best food or housing, such children need a psychological settlement. At least they should be assured of better lives immediately after arriving. Refugee segmentation should be done where they are grouped according to their cultures (Stewart 102). This easily helps in fighting culture shock that most children experience on arriving in the US. Provision of proper education, effective healthcare and housing should then follow; after they have started adapting to the new environment. Integrating child refugees should be procedural and not hastened as it happens today.
The issue of child refugees is taking a toll on most developed nations. Unfortunately, as much as there could be capabilities of integrating these refugees, not much has been done to ensure the smoothness of the process, especially in the US. This happens primarily because of lack of preparedness to eminent emergency issues. As much as integrating child refugees could have massive economic impacts on the US, it is the only way through which the negative trends associated with this international issue could be mitigated.
Barkan, Elliot. Immigrants in American History: Arrival, Adaptation and Integration. Santa Barbara, Calif: ABC-CLIO, 2013. Print
Bhabha, Jacqueline. et al. Seeking Asylum alone: Comparative Study of Laws Policy in Australia, U.K And U.S. Sydney: Themis Press, 2006. Print
Burlingame, Jeff.The Lost Boys of Sudan. Tarrytown: Marshall Cavendish Benchmark, 2012. Print
Brown Elinor & Krusteva Anna. Migrants and Refugees: Equitable Education for Displaced Populations. Charlotte: Information Age Publishing. 2013.
Grigorenko, Elena. U.S. Immigration and Education: Cultural and Policy Issues across the Lifespan. New York: springer Publications. 2013. Online Resources.
Scholten, P. et al. Integrating Immigrants in Europe: Research Policy Dialogues. Cham: Springer Open. 2015. Online Resources
Stewart Jan. Supporting Refugee Children: Strategies for Educators. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. 2011. Print.
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