Past Event

Migrant Children and Their Families: The Cruel Politics at the U.S.-Mexico Border

May 17, 2021
10:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Online Event

U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration is racing to deal with an increasing number of migrant children arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border. 

The Democratic President is facing criticism not only from opposition Republicans but also members of his own party, who say some children are being held in custody for too long.

If the number of children arriving without a parent or legal guardian continues to rise, officials will have to expand emergency housing, start a time-consuming process to open more licensed facilities or release children faster.


  • Why are the numbers of new arrivals increasing?
  • Has U.S. immigration policy changed with respect to the arrival of unaccompanied children? 
  • Who are the migrants and why do they expose themselves to such great danger?


Join us for this discussion on:

MAY 17 at  ⏰ 10am EDT | 11am BRT


"Most current international crisis-related discourse is concerned with the coronavirus pandemic, yet in the decade prior to the appearance of Covid-19, a much larger global crisis has been unfolding. By the time a person finishes reading this, over one hundred people will have been compelled to leave their homes. Nearly half of those will become stateless as well – displaced not only within their countries, but forced to migrate across borders. The causes are numerous and complicated: natural and ecological disasters, development projects that claim or contaminate land and water, and primarily, violent conflict. Unspeakable horrors that need immediate attention and action. 

Columbia University and Columbia Global Centers affirm that, as an institution with global reach, we are determined to help meet the needs of our global society.  The haphazard results of leaving the response to international crises up to individual states has only underscored the necessity of unified strategies and shared information that respect our human connections across borders.  We are committed to research into the myriad issues involved in forced migration, and to engaging meaningfully in providing solutions. 

Columbia Global Centers and the Committee on Forced Migration have launched a year-long series of webinars to provide opportunities to explore these issues from within different disciplines and contexts.  We will examine the history of anti-immigrant racism, issues of density and urban living in a post-Covid world, and the role of journalism in humanitarian crises.  We will explore a globalized economy as a contributing factor to forced migration, and we will survey literature of the migrant experience. 

Also of note, Columbia University has launched the Scholarship for Displaced Students. Information and application link can be found here. Please help us spread the word."

Safwan M. Masri, Executive Vice President for Global Centers and Global Development