Date of Conferral





Human Services


Nathan Moran


Many of the unaccompanied children entering the United States by crossing the border from Mexico remain alone without legal protections, leaving them vulnerable to detention and deportation. The problem addressed in this study is the lack of availability and accessibility to legal representation for an unaccompanied child’s immigration proceedings. The theory of intersectionality by Kimberlé Crenshaw guided the study, as this theory is used to understand how multiple social identities, such as race and gender, intersect at the micro-level of individual experience to expose interlocking systems of privilege and oppression. For this nonexperimental quantitative study, secondary data from the Transactional Record Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University were used to examine whether there are statistically significant predictive relationships between the variables (N = 63,054). Results from a binary logistic regression showed that a child’s country of origin, the geographical location of their assigned immigration court, the case outcome, and the absentia status are statistically significant predictors of whether legal representation was obtained or not. Findings can be used to promote social change by allowing social services professionals and organizations providing services to this population advocate for increased access to legal services resources and for changes in the current immigration system and for the Office of Refugee Resettlement to improve the ability to conduct research to obtain the short-term and long-term outcomes for this population.