Recently a national and international spotlight has shown on the humanitarian needs of the children at the United States border who have been fleeing from three countries in Central America known as the “Northern Triangle”—Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador. According to the United States Border Patrol, 57,525 unaccompanied minors (children traveling without parents or family members) were detained on the southern border between October 1, 2013 and June 30, 2014. While there can be many reasons for children to seek entry to the United States, including family reunification and poverty, children fleeing the Northern Triangle consistently cite gangs and drug-related violence as their primary reason for undertaking the long and dangerous journey. The issue has triggered local anti-immigrant activists to organize protests against the attempts to process entry for the children at various locations around the country, with much of the protest rhetoric demonizing and dehumanizing the children.
In this lesson, students will learn more about the unaccompanied children at our border, read and reflect on two stories of children who recently came to the U.S. on their own and will consider their opinion about the situation and what to do about it by writing a persuasive letter.