"A powerful and timely exposure of the institutional violence suffered by migrant minors in federal custody who are being detained under two competing agendas—mandatory detention in custodial facilities and removal proceedings in immigration courts. . . . Whose Child Am I? underscores the imperative of immigration reform for both practical and humanitarian reasons."—New York Journal of Books
"This volume is neither conservative nor liberal. It is a balanced presentation of the system, pro and con, for handling undocumented children who come to this country on their own or because they are brought here. . . . Incredibly readable and insightful. An exceptional book that does real justice to an enormously important topic. . . . Highly Recommended."—K. E. Murphy, CHOICE connect
"Susan Terrio did an excellent job at exposing a major issue in the American government.... This book rightly argues that the United States has a long way to go before it is a positive influence on immigrant children who need to spend time in custody."—Journal of Youth and Adolescence
"How did the US government get into the business of detaining thousands of unaccompanied children every year? How did this become the dominant paradigm for dealing with very young and vulnerable migrants fleeing poverty and violence in Central America? These questions are urgent and topical as the US confronts massive inflows of unaccompanied child migrants along its southern border. With masterful and accessible prose, Susan Terrio answers these questions. She combines poignant attention to human detail with an impressive grasp of relevant history, law, policy and practice. Essential reading for anyone interested in one of the US's most urgent contemporary human rights challenges."–Jacqueline Bhabha, Professor of the Practice of Health and Human Rights, Harvard University.
“Whose Child Am I? is a comprehensive, provocative, and richly detailed ethnography of the experiences of unaccompanied minors as they traverse the US immigration system. Drawing on hundreds of hours of observations and in-depth interviews with youth and immigration authorities, Terrio helps us to understand both the youths’ struggles and the realities of detention centers, where humanitarian interests collide with a punitive enforcement approach. This unique and beautifully written analysis is a “must read” for anyone concerned about children traveling alone to escape violence and devastating poverty in their homelands, and their experiences with the US immigration system.”–Marjorie S. Zatz, University of California, Merced
Read More >
"Susan Terrio spent three years gathering data and draws on a wide range of sources, including ethnographic work in and visits to federal facilities, attending conferences organized by nonprofits, observing immigration court hearings, and interviewing judges, advocates, and child migrants themselves. It is rare to bring together these disparate sorts of material, so that is a contribution in and of itself. The book will be essential reading for courses on immigration or on child immigrants."–Susan Bibler Coutin, Associate Dean, University of California, Irvine, author of Legalizing Moves: Salvadoran Immigrants’ Struggle for U.S. Residency