The authors outline how, as undocumented immigrants face danger throughout their journeys and challenges settling in U.S. communities, local civil society actors at each stage must ensure that their human and civil rights are respected. Policies that only address the migratory flow into the United States will not resolve issues of violence, poverty, and political exclusion in the countries of origin that force people to flee. Despite their lack of legal status in the United States, immigrant youth have a crucial role to play in ensuring a secure future—for others like them but also for U.S. civil society more broadly. The authors illustrate the ways that migrant youth have been taking the lead on articulating their visions for a better world, and discuss how—informed by youth advocacy—local communities and state governments can build effective networks, implement protective policies, and provide needed services.
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