1. Unaccompanied minors from Central America are being exploited in US factories, violating labor laws.
2. Many of these minors are sent to the US by their own parents to join the workforce and pay off family debts.
3. Advocacy for broadening the definition of asylum has led to a situation where job-seekers are claiming asylum, undermining the original purpose of asylum for those fleeing wars and political persecution. Instead, safe spaces should be set up in sending countries to reduce costs and risks and discourage economic migration.
The article "Why Are Underage Central Americans in US Factories?" by David Stoll provides a critical analysis of the New York Times' exposé on underage migrant workers in the US. Stoll argues that the focus on exploitation and violation of labor laws overlooks the underlying reasons why underage Central Americans are sent to work in the US, which is to earn money and pay off debts owed by their families.
Stoll highlights how human-rights advocacy has paved the way for this situation, with reforms designed to protect juveniles actually encouraging more families to send their children to work in the US. He notes that asylum advocates have expanded the definition of asylum beyond its original meaning, leading to an ever-wider range of people attempting to seek refuge in low-income countries like the US.
However, Stoll's analysis is not without its biases. He appears skeptical of asylum claims made by Central American migrants, arguing that most are motivated by economic factors rather than violence or persecution. This overlooks the fact that many migrants do face real dangers in their home countries, including gang violence and political instability.
Additionally, Stoll's argument that safe spaces should be set up in sending countries as an alternative to seeking asylum in other countries ignores the fact that many migrants may not have access to such facilities or may still face danger even within them.
Overall, while Stoll raises valid points about the complex factors driving underage migrant labor in the US, his analysis could benefit from a more nuanced consideration of both sides of this issue.