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Serving Refugee Children

Listening to Stories of Detention in the USA

Edited By Montse Feu and Amanda Venta

Serving Refugee Children shows the struggles and traumatic experiences that unaccompanied and/or undocumented children undergo when seeking safety in the United States and find instead imprisonment, separation from their families, and ICE raids in what would have become their neighborhoods. Current legislation and bureaucracy limit first-person narratives from these children, but service providers and grassroots activist authoring the pieces in this collection bear witness to the children’s brave human spirits in their search for safety and their arrival in the United States. Through the power of storytelling, Serving Refugee Children exposes current detention center conditions while also protecting detained children. No child should have to live the persecution suffered by children featured in these stories, nor should they have to embark upon perilous journeys across Latin America or be subjected to the difficult immigration court process unaided. Researchers and the general public who believe that the emotional bonding of telling stories continues to humanize discussions and who want immigration policies that foster a culture of engagement and interconnectedness will be interested in this volume.
Preface – Acknowledgments – Introduction, Serving Refugee Children and Their Families – Escapes and Crossings – Seth Michelson, “Looking for Luz” (Buscando a Luz) – Paloma Villegas, “Los niños florero. Cruzaron como floreros” (They Crossed the Border Inside Floreros) – Cassandra Bailey, “Growing Up Too Fast” (Crecer muy rápido) – Memories and Bonds – Melissa Briones, Alfonso Mercado, Abigail Nunez-Saenz, Paola Quijano, and Andy Torres, “Buscando un destino” (Looking for a Destino) – Yessica Colin, “Camila” (Camila) – Ana Maria Fores Tamayo, “Elegy to a Refugee Girl” (Oda a una niña refugiada) – Silencing – Maria Baños Jordan, “Spanish Silencio” (Silencio) – Francisco Villegas and Paloma Villegas, “Reflection on schooling experiences as undocumented migrants in the U.S.” (Una reflexión sobre nuestra propia escolarización como migrantes indocumentados en los EE.UU.) – Estrella Godinez, “A Yearning Desire” (Un deseo anhelante) – Jaime Retamales, “Jeremías” (Jeremías) – The Love of Strangers – Luz M. Garcini and Martin La Roche, “An Undocumented Journey in Search of a Heart” (Un viaje indocumentado en busca de un corazón) – Juan A. Ríos Vega, “An ESL Classroom as a Healing Space” (El aula de inglés como segunda lengua: un lugar de sanación) – Amelia Cotter, “The Love of Strangers” (El amor de extraños) – About the Authors.