E.g., 06/26/2022
E.g., 06/26/2022
Latin America and Caribbean Initiative

Latin America and Caribbean Initiative

MPI’s Latin America and Caribbean Initiative acts as a policy laboratory to develop evidence-based research and innovative, effective policy solutions for the migration challenges facing Latin America and the Caribbean.
A map showing Mexico, Central America, South America, and the Caribbean highlighted in teal
Once thought of primarily as a region of emigration, countries across Latin America and the Caribbean are confronting new and increasingly complex migration and humanitarian pressures, including the integration of millions of Venezuelan migrants and asylum seekers who have fled their country since 2014 and the management of regional migration flows across Central and North America.

The Initiative produces research, trends and policy analysis, and policy design; provides technical assistance; and organizes private convenings and public events to inform the decisions of policymakers, the private sector, civil society, and other stakeholders as they respond to evolving trends and policy developments.

Current focus areas include legal pathways, immigrant integration, migration and development, and regional cooperation on migration management.

Para leer las investigaciones de la Iniciativa en español, haga clic aquí.

Recent Activity

Pages

Cover image for Temporary Worker Programs in Canada, Mexico, and Costa Rica
Reports
June 2022
By  Cristobal Ramón, Ariel G. Ruiz Soto, María Jesús Mora and Ana Martín Gil
Cover image for Humanitarian Pathways for Central Americans
Policy Briefs
May 2022
By  Susan Fratzke and Andrea Tanco
Cover image for Migración de Huehuetenango en el Altiplano Occidental de Guatemala
Reports
March 2022
By  Andrew Selee, Luis Argueta and Juan José Hurtado Paz y Paz
Cover image for Migration from Huehuetenango in Guatemala’s Western Highlands
Reports
March 2022
By  Andrew Selee, Luis Argueta and Juan José Hurtado Paz y Paz
Cover image for Relaunching the Central American Minors Program: Opportunities to Enhance Child Safety and Family Reunification
Reports
December 2021
By  Mark Greenberg, Stephanie Heredia, Kira Monin, Celia Reynolds and Essey Workie
Cover image for The State of Costa Rican Migration and Immigrant Integration Policy
Reports
November 2021
By  Diego Chaves-González and María Jesús Mora
Cover image for The Complex Motivations and Costs of Central American Migration
Reports
November 2021
By  Ariel G. Ruiz Soto, Rossella Bottone, Jaret Waters, Sarah Williams, Ashley Louie and Yuehan Wang

Pages

Merchants sell items on a busy street in San José, Costa Rica.

Tens of thousands of Nicaraguans have fled their country since 2018, amid repression and a renewed government crackdown. In neighboring Costa Rica, many migrants have encountered a robust system for protection and integration, yet they still face stigma and discrimination in their daily lives. This article explores this dynamic along one of Central America's most important migratory routes.

A Haitian man hugs his daughter in Peru.

The chaotic arrival of thousands of Haitians at the U.S.-Mexico border in September 2021 was the culmination of a journey through the Americas that began for many a decade ago. This article examines how Brazil became a refuge for many after Haiti’s devastating 2010 earthquake, and how Haitians then moved on to Chile and other countries as conditions changed, and then onward again further north.

A member of the MS-13 gang.

Gang violence is a major driver of migration, particularly from Central America to the United States. But governments on both sides often rely on outdated and static understandings of gangs and their membership. This article explains the history of groups such as MS-13 and Barrio 18 and why they are relevant for immigration policy.

A boy walks through a coastal village in Honduras.

A disproportionate number of Central American migrants traveling through Mexico to the United States come from Honduras, driven by government corruption, impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, and hurricanes that have devastated communities and livelihoods. This article examine the multiple factors behind migration from the country, drawing from interviews with migrants en route.

A caravan of migrants from Central America passes by Chiapas, Mexico.

Tens of thousands of migrants have gone missing in Mexico in recent years, with the country having one of world's highest rates of disappeared persons. In 2015, the Mexican government created institutions to investigate these cases and work with the missing migrants' families, who are often their most vocal advocates. This article explores the reasons why migrants disappear, as well the institutions established to investigate cases and their impact.

Pages

A woman in a winter coat receives food from a woman in an orange safety vest at a train station in P
Commentaries
May 2022
By  Meghan Benton and Andrew Selee
Image of Central American migrant caravan passing through Chiapas, Mexico
Commentaries
April 2022
By  Ariel G. Ruiz Soto and Andrew Selee
IOm_Colombia_Passport_Woman_smaller
Commentaries
February 2021
By  Natalia Banulescu-Bogdan and Diego Chaves-González
MigrantCaravanMXCity2018_Wotancito_WikiCommons
Commentaries
July 2019
By  Andrew Selee, Silvia E. Giorguli-Saucedo, Claudia Masferrer and Ariel G. Ruiz Soto
Picture of female Venezuelan migrant in Colombia, leaning over balcony railing
Video
June 7, 2022

The presidents of Colombia and Ecuador speak at this high-level event held on the sidelines of the Ninth Summit of the Americas, focusing on the critical need for succcessful integration of Venezuelans in the Americas.

The border area of Haquillas is home to several Venezuelans waiting of their documentation to be formally processed in order to enter in Peru regularly.
Video
June 9, 2022

On the sidelines of the Ninth Summit of the Americas, this event co-sponsored by MPI examines tools and concrete actions taken on regional migration governance, best practices and lessons learned, and the role of regional mechanisms to respond to migration and forced displacement.

Image of Central American worker checking corn in cornfield.
Video
June 14, 2022

This webcast presents research findings on temporary employment pathways for Central American migrants in Canada, Mexico, and Costa Rica. Speakers offer an analysis of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program in Canada, the Border Worker Visa in Mexico, and Costa Rica’s Binational Agreement with Nicaragua, providing recommendations to improve these pathways and promote safe, orderly, and regular migration.

Seeking the US border, many Central American migrants begin their journey in Mexico on 'La Bestia'
Video
May 24, 2022

Marking the release of a Migration Policy Institute report on possible protection pathways for Central Americans, this webcast offers analysis on regional resettlement and humanitarian channels and the opportunities and obstacles to expanding these programs, along with specific actions that the United States and Canada could take.

Video, Audio
March 16, 2022

This event explores changing migration patterns from Guatemala, how policymakers and development practitioners can help create livelihood options and address other drivers of migration, and the broader lessons for policy approaches in sending and receiving countries that could help better manage migration and provide alternatives to irregular migration. This event was in Spanish with English interpretation. 

Pages

Recent Activity

Video, Webinars
June 7, 2022

The presidents of Colombia and Ecuador speak at this high-level event held on the sidelines of the Ninth Summit of the Americas, focusing on the critical need for succcessful integration of Venezuelans in the Americas.

Video, Webinars
June 9, 2022

On the sidelines of the Ninth Summit of the Americas, this event co-sponsored by MPI examines tools and concrete actions taken on regional migration governance, best practices and lessons learned, and the role of regional mechanisms to respond to migration and forced displacement.

Video, Webinars
June 14, 2022

This webcast presents research findings on temporary employment pathways for Central American migrants in Canada, Mexico, and Costa Rica. Speakers offer an analysis of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program in Canada, the Border Worker Visa in Mexico, and Costa Rica’s Binational Agreement with Nicaragua, providing recommendations to improve these pathways and promote safe, orderly, and regular migration.

Reports
June 2022

Irregular migration from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras has become a dominant feature of the migration landscape in Central and North America, yet few legal pathways exist for Central Americans facing pressure to emigrate. This report explores how Canada, Mexico, and Costa Rica could use existing temporary worker programs to expand legal migration options while also helping fill their labor shortages.

Commentaries
June 2022

The Los Angeles Agreement on Migration and Protection signed by leaders from 20 countries across the Western Hemisphere at the 2022 Summit of the Americas marks a significant step forward in creating a common language and a coherent set of ideas for more cooperatively managing migration movements across a region that has seen very significant mobility in recent years, as this commentary explains.

Video, Webinars
May 24, 2022

Marking the release of a Migration Policy Institute report on possible protection pathways for Central Americans, this webcast offers analysis on regional resettlement and humanitarian channels and the opportunities and obstacles to expanding these programs, along with specific actions that the United States and Canada could take.

Policy Briefs
May 2022

For most Central Americans forced to flee their homes, traveling to Mexico or the United States to apply for asylum is their only option to seek international protection. To date, refugee resettlement has been used only sparingly in the region. This brief explores what role resettlement and other humanitarian pathways play in meeting these protection needs, and whether and how they could be scaled up.

Commentaries
May 2022

Recent displacement crises—ranging from Syria, Afghanistan, Venezuela, Myanmar, South Sudan, to most recently Ukraine—have imposed huge stresses on the humanitarian protection regime. Yet individual countries and regional organizations have been innovating to meet the challenge and expand the options available for protection, in some cases bypassing beleaguered asylum systems. This commentary traces the rise of more ad hoc approaches.

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