English Professor’s Mission to Document, Improve Lives of Incarcerated Migrant Children
Profiled by "The Chronicle"
Oct. 17, 2019
BLOOMINGTON, Ill. — A recent article published in The Chronicle of Higher Education focuses on the work of Illinois Wesleyan University Professor of English Kathleen O’Gorman, who spent time over the past year or so working with a team of
lawyers and interpreters interviewing migrant children in government custody to document
the conditions of their detention.
Fluent in Spanish, O’Gorman volunteered to translate for the Center for Human Rights
and Constitutional Law, a non-profit, legal foundation dedicated to furthering and
protecting the human rights of immigrants, refugees, children, prisoners and the poor.
The organization has aided in winning major court cases including the Flores settlement,
which established standards for the treatment of migrant children in immigration custody.
As a translator, O’Gorman continues to interview minors about life in government detention.
The lawyers with whom she works use the children’s declarations as evidence to support
court actions, if needed.