Collectively we can do better. Nearly every week, we read a new tragic headline and story of unaccompanied children and youth from Central America meeting some horrific end while attempting to immigrate to the US. In the previous few months alone, there have been reports of mass abductions, a deadly fire at a Mexican migrant detention center, heat stroke deaths in abandoned cargo boxes and videos of tiny children being left at the border wall by smugglers called “Coyotes.”
As a leader of a major project aimed at identifying causation and potential solutions to this challenge, there are two obvious truths we must face. One, the national conversations we are having about this challenge are shaped by wildly inaccurate rhetoric that is frankly not helping. And secondly, the major efforts by both faith-based and government agencies alike are insufficient, dated and in need of fresh and more sophisticated approaches to the challenge.