E.g., 04/22/2024
E.g., 04/22/2024
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

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Reports
March 2021
By  Camille Le Coz, Samuel Davidoff-Gore, Timo Schmidt, Susan Fratzke, Andrea Tanco, Maria Belen Zanzuchi and Jessica Bolter
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Policy Briefs
September 2020
By  Dany Bahar, Meagan Dooley and Andrew Selee
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Fact Sheets
August 2020
By  Diego Chaves-González and Carlos Echeverría-Estrada
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Reports
September 2019
By  Andrew Selee, Silvia E. Giorguli-Saucedo, Ariel G. Ruiz Soto and Claudia Masferrer
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Policy Briefs
January 2019
By  Andrew Selee, Jessica Bolter, Betilde Muñoz-Pogossian and Miryam Hazán

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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 But governments on both sides often rely on outdated and static understandings of gangs and their membership.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.

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Climate change has had a devastating impact on many poor Central American farmers, which can contribute to food insecurity and may be prompting migration from the region's Dry Corridor. But the process is not straightforward. As this article explains, most poor farmers rely on a combination of buying, cultivating, and foraging for their food, which makes it difficult to predict how people will react to individual climate events.

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For more than a century, Haiti was considered a prime destination for migrants from the United States and around the world. In the wake of the Haitian Revolution, Haiti marketed itself to freed slaves and others as an island haven where they could break free from the strictures of the United States and a global system of slavery. That changed in the 20th century. Now, there are roughly 1.6 million Haitians living in other countries.

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Video, Audio
March 16, 2022

En este evento de presentación del informe, los ponentes hablan sobre los cambios en los patrones de migración desde Guatemala.

Video
October 14, 2021

In this webinar, speakers examine issues of integration and social cohesion in Colombia, and explore how the international community can support Colombia and other countries receiving significant numbers of Venezuelan migrants and refugees. They also discuss Colombian initiatives that seek to improve the situation for migrants as well as the host communities where they reside.

Video, Audio
November 30, 2021

This webinar marks the release of a report examining the state of Costa Rica’s institutional framework and initiatives supporting the integration of migrants and refugees, a particularly critical policy area as the immigrant population continues to grow. The event was in Spanish and this is the live English interpretation.

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Expert Q&A, Audio
November 24, 2021

With migration a dynamic phenomenon in the Americas, the U.S. government increasingly is realizing that migration management should be viewed in a regional context. This requires a new set of policies and ways of engagement with countries in North and Central America, and beyond, as MPI President Andrew Selee discusses with colleague Andrea Tanco in this episode of our World of Migration podcast.

Video, Audio
July 29, 2021

Featuring the release of an MPI-IOM analysis on the socioeconomic integration of Venezuelan migrants and refugees in Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru, this webinar explores the pace of Venezuelan integration considering evolving regional and national policies, the pandemic, and changing migration dynamics. 

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Recent Activity

Reports
March 2023

Although Caribbean migration is often discussed in terms of movement to North America and Europe, migration within the region has increased notably in recent years. With people on the move for work or study, to join family, and to seek safety from natural disasters or persecution, this mobility takes many forms. This report explores Caribbean migration trends and the policies and institutions put in place at national and regional levels to manage them.

Articles

The Biden administration’s policy to expel some Venezuelan border arrivals to Mexico marks a significant reversal. For the first time, the U.S. government is invoking the controversial Title 42 expulsions policy not on public-health grounds but as an explicit immigration enforcement measure. The expulsions are being paired with a new humanitarian parole program for up to 24,000 Venezuelans. This article assesses the policy and the uneven treatment of humanitarian migrants by nationality.

Commentaries
October 2022

Headlines focusing on the record-breaking nature of the 2.4 million migrant encounters at the U.S.-Mexico border in fiscal year 2022 overlook the much bigger story: Migrant and asylum seeker flows have rapidly diversified beyond Mexico and northern Central America and as a result, U.S. enforcement policies are misaligned. Today's reality sharply underscores the need for new regional approaches, this commentary argues.

Articles

The discovery of massive oil reserves off the Guyana coast will bring immense riches to this small South American country. This windfall will draw migrant labor and the return of some diaspora members to Guyana, which has one of the world's highest emigration rates. It also could accelerate climate displacement in a country where 90 percent of the population lives in coastal areas below the sea level. This article explores the changes ahead.

Video, Webinars
June 21, 2022

On this webinar, speakers discuss the main challenges faced by countries of origin and destination in ensuring mutual benefits through labor migration and strategies moving forward related to migration and development in Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras. 

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, Audio, 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.

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