The U.S. Response to Throwaway Children:
From Orphan Trains to the Current Migrant Crisis
The United States has historically faced the challenge of responding to the needs of children without parents to provide for their care. The Orphan Train provides a historical context for today’s social, moral and legal crisis created by large numbers of unaccompanied migrant children arriving at our borders.
Originally posted on Gossiping about Dead People. Reposted with permission of the author.
John and Bridget O’Donnell are fresh off the boat at Ellis Island. These newcomers are looking for a cramped tenement apartment in Manhattan’s hip Lower East Side, where their already large family can continue to grow. Their wish list includes: enough space for a separate mattress for their children; a spot for a chair in the kitchen, where Bridget can pursue her part-time contract seamstress job at home; and a local pub, so John can indulge in a pint with his fellow unskilled laborers after a hard day at the factory.