Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly


In response to the increase of unaccompanied minors seeking refuge in the United States in 2014, officials within federal, state, and local institutions readied themselves to receive and serve a greater number of child migrants in detention facilities, shelters, immigration courts, and public schools. While attention has been paid to the need for legal representation of unaccompanied minors and the need to end the inhumane detention of children, this Note reveals the state of educational opportunities and services provided for unaccompanied minors in detention facilities, shelters, and public schools. This Note looks to the role education plays in the lives of unaccompanied minors, and reveals that unaccompanied minors are subject to an irregular and inadequate education experience. Accordingly, this Note argues for increased transparency and the recognition of unaccompanied minors' right to a proper education throughout their journeys in the federal interagency web. This argument is couched in our nation's historic treatment of unaccompanied minors and supported by landmark cases and statutes. After detailing the alleged services provided to unaccompanied minors in detention facilities and shelters, this Note provides a case study of how one California high school exceptionally adapted to the unaccompanied student community it serves.