Date of Award


Document Type

Campus Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Public Affairs/International Relations

First Advisor

Luis Jimenez

Second Advisor

Ursula C. Tafe

Third Advisor

Joe Brown


The number of unaccompanied children crossing the U.S.-Mexico border increased 90 percent in 2014 fiscal year, drawing the attention and concern of the U.S. government, media, and public. The governments of many countries along with policy makers, acknowledged the need to generate the proper measures to stop this form of migration launching a regional effort to stop migration. Most unaccompanied children have come from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras and for the most part come through the Mexican train routes extending from Guatemala to the U.S. Beyond the migration dimension, however, it also created a humanitarian crisis that pressured policy makers to review the unaccompanied minors phenomenon using the lens of human traffic risk. Although the migration to Central America is not something new, the volume was unprecedented. This suggests that, there were particular circumstances that resulted in a sudden increase of this migration movement during this period of time. This thesis attempts to understand the underlying factors that have caused this form of migration and I will use qualitative analysis to evaluate to what extent those factors impacted the sudden spike in the migration movement.


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