More Deportee Reception and Reintegration Efforts Required in Central America to Stop Migration Revolving Door, Report Finds
WASHINGTON — Over the past five years, hundreds of thousands of Central American migrants—a significant number of them children—have been deported from Mexico and the United States back to the Northern Triangle countries of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. While these countries have created reception programs for most deported migrants and reintegration initiatives that reach far more limited numbers, a new Migration Policy Institute (MPI) report finds that much more needs to be done to end the revolving-door cycle of migration, deportation and re-migration.
With deported migrants often returning in worse circumstances than when they left, facing crippling debt to smugglers and deteriorating conditions in their home communities, it is not uncommon for them to turn around and try again.
A new report from MPI’s Regional Migration Study Group, Stopping the Revolving Door: Reception and Reintegration Services for Central American Deportees, provides a detailed portrait of the reception and reintegration services that exist in the Northern Triangle, including their sponsors, budgets and beneficiaries.
The report, which sketches the successes and challenges of such programs, notes that while their relevance is unquestioned, knowledge of their effectiveness is quite limited and evaluation and monitoring are scant. And while short-term reception services have been expanded in recent years, long-term reintegration services remain unavailable for the majority of deportees.
“Without substantial financial support by international donors, opportunities to reach more deportees and provide an alternative to re-migration are slim,’’ write authors Victoria Rietig and Rodrigo Dominguez Villegas. “Improving reception and reintegration programs will take time, the consistent dedication of financial resources and political will.”
The authors—who will discuss their findings in a webinar today—highlight the long-term effects that these services can have on the countries of the region, noting that the economic opportunities they create “may help convert future regional migration into a genuine choice rather than a matter of sheer economic survival.”