Laird Bergad Talks with CUNY-TV’s Bob Herbert About Unaccompanied Minors Entering the U.S.

Distinguished Professor Laird Bergad

Distinguished Professor Laird W. Bergad was a recent guest on CUNY-TV’s “Bob Herbert’s Op-Ed.TV” program for a talk about the recent influx of unaccompanied minors entering the U.S. from parts of Central and North America. Joining him for the discussion was Thanu Yakupitiyage, communications coordinator for the New York Immigration Coalition.

In the interview, Prof. Bergad attributed the surge to an increase in violence in places like Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala. Honduras in particular has seen a significant increase in its murder rate over the past decade, making it the murder capital of the world. Other reasons for the mass migration include persistent poverty levels and lack of education or economic opportunities for young people in these countries.

“Governments in the region have extraordinary degrees of corruption, militarism with repression internally, and elite social classes that do not prioritize policies that advance education or economic opportunities for advancement,” said Prof. Bergad.

An expert on Latin American and Caribbean history, Prof. Bergad teaches in the Department of Latin American, Latino, and Puerto Rican Studies at Lehman and serves as director of the Center for Latin American, Caribbean, and Latino Studies at the CUNY Graduate Center.

He has authored and co-authored a number of books including his most recent Hispanics in the United States: A Demographic, Social, and Economic History, 1980-2005  (Cambridge University Press, 2010).

Bob Herbert’s Op-Ed.TV is a weekly half-hour program featuring interviews with significant men and women from a variety of fields: officeholders and activists, economists, labor leaders, writers and artists. Herbert, a longtime journalist and former columnist for The New York Times, takes a close look each week at a compelling contemporary issue.