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The (Mis)Treatment and (Non)Education of Unaccompanied Immigrant Children in the United States

The focus of this brief is on the education of unaccompanied immigrant children arriving from Central America and Mexico, fleeing violence and poverty in their countries. Upon arrival, these children encounter a complicated immigration legal system, while having to navigate a new society within an anti-immigrant sociopolitical context. In recent years, these unaccompanied children have been exposed to traumatic situations such as overcrowded detention centers and abuse. After an analysis of research around this issue, the brief provides recommendations for policymakers and leaders to alleviate the trauma suffered by these children and to ensure that they receive necessary educational and coordinated supports.