“Over time, thoughtful policy reforms in the region’s educational and workforce preparation systems - and more organic cooperation on border and migration matters - will mitigate many of today’s concerns about regional migration, while creating the conditions for future migration to be a matter of genuine choice, rather than necessity.”
- Demetrios Papademetriou, MPI President
More than any issue, migration shapes and defines the US relationship with Mexico and, increasingly, much of Central America. Thus, getting migration and the issues that fuel and surround it right is vital to the region’s long-term stability, prosperity, and its competitiveness in a fast-changing and unforgiving global economy. Yet, there are no systematic conversations about what a collaborative, regional approach to these issues might look like. The Migration Policy Institute and the Latin American Program/Mexico Institute of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars have filled that void by convening a three-year Regional Migration Study Group — consisting of two dozen former officials, civil-society leaders, policy intellectuals, and specialists in the United States, Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras and co-chaired by former Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo, former US Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez, and former Guatemalan Vice President and Foreign Minister Eduardo Stein. Senior government officials from throughout the region also have been involved in the Study Group as observers and were briefed on its work at appropriate intervals.
The Study Group consists of approximately two dozen former officials, civil-society leaders, policy intellectuals, and specialists who embrace the initiative’s goals and commit energy to realizing them. They were drawn from a variety of fields in the United States, Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. The Study Group met throughout the region over a three-year period. Its findings and recommendations were informed by a series of commissioned briefing papers and reports that were published in English and Spanish and disseminated widely, using the two partnering institutions’ networks in the region and formidable communications capabilities.
The Study Group’s mission is twofold:
- To act as an on-call “virtual think tank” to policymakers and civil society in the region as they manage their day-to-day migration relations, navigate the path toward making the region more secure by consulting and cooperating more meaningfully on migration matters, and attempt to gain more from migration.
- To develop and promote a longer-term vision of how to build a stronger social and economic foundation for the region by enhancing the region’s human-capital infrastructure. Building up the region’s human capital — through education and workforce development reforms that gradually develop common standards in key sectors across the region — will create better economic opportunities for the region’s citizens, creating an engine for growth in each country and strengthening the region’s competitiveness.
The Study Group issued its final report in May 2013. The Study Group’s co-chairs and staff directors, assisted by Study Group members as available, will continue to work throughout 2013 to promote recommendations and monitor their implementation.
Read the final report here.
For more information on the Regional Migration Study Group, please contact Study Group Project Manager Eleanor Sohnen at 202-266-1919 or email@example.com.
For media inquiries related to the Study Group’s work, please contact MPI Director of Communications Michelle Mittelstadt at 202-266-1910 or firstname.lastname@example.org.