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A Tale of Two Systems

A Tale of Two Systems

Juvenile Justice System Choices and Their Impact on Young Immigrants

(p.130) 6 A Tale of Two Systems
Choosing the Future for American Juvenile Justice
David B. Thronson
NYU Press

This chapter argues that juvenile justice systems have defining choices on how they work with immigrant youth. They can either place their core mission of working positively with youth ahead of collateral efforts to enforce federal immigration law, or choose affirmative efforts to involve immigration enforcement authorities in the lives of youth. The former choice leverages the equitable flexibility of juvenile systems to improve the lives and well-being of immigrant youth, while the latter disregards the foreseeable immigration consequences, subverting the juvenile justice system's mission of providing an alternative to adult courts and punishments for youth. Hence, these starkly different choices create two systems of juvenile justice.

Keywords:   immigration law, juvenile justice system, immigration consequences, adult courts, immigrant youth

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