Both of the leading presidential candidates said during the campaign that Mexico needed to create more and better jobs to stem migration - but their approaches to the problem differ. Susan Gzesh of the University of Chicago reports.
Not long after the United States passed the 1980 Refugee Act, thousands of people began fleeing civil war in Guatemala, El Salvador, and Nicaragua. Their treatment in the United States, linked to U.S. foreign policy, spurred the Sanctuary Movement and efforts to grant them refugee status, as Susan Gzesh of the University of Chicago explains.
Guatemala's long civil war, which spurred large flows of refugees, has given way to high levels of economic migration to the United States and an economy more dependent on remittances. Also, Guatemala’s geography has made it a prime transit country for migrants headed north, as James Smith of Inforpress Centroamericana reports.
Although most Central American refugees sought protection in the United States, Canada admitted thousands of Central American refugees in the 1980s. María Cristina García of Cornell University takes a detailed look at Central Americans in Canada
Since the 1980s, Mexico has become home to Guatemalan refugees and served as a transit country for Central Americans seeking to reach the United States. Manuel Ángel Castillo of El Colegio de México analyzes Mexico's policies toward its southern neighbors.
Salvadorans abroad have helped their families economically and, to some extent, decreased poverty levels back home. Yet migration has economic and social costs in El Salvador - and has not yet proved to be the answer to its development problems, according to Katharine Andrade-Eekhoff.
Many migratory streams from Central America — including refugees, economic migrants, and transit flows headed north from South America and elsewhere — have converged in North America since the 1980s. Sarah J. Mahler and Dusan Ugrina of Florida International University outline the region's main trends.
Colombia's ongoing armed conflict has caused millions to leave the country, both as economic migrants and as refugees; millions more have been internally displaced. While the government struggles with these issues, it is also courting Colombians abroad. Myriam Bérubé reports.
South America's largest country has experienced waves of immigration and, more recently, emigration. But Brazil has not proactively addressed new migration patterns, including increases in illegal immigrants. Ernesto Friedrich Amaral of the University of Texas at Austin and Wilson Fusco of Universidade Estadual de Campinas report.
The Sept. 11 attacks prompted greater government scrutiny of undocumented immigrants in the United States. MPI Research Assistant Kevin O'Neil takes a look at how many Mexicans living in the U.S. without authorization have turned to a Mexican government ID called the "matrícula consular" to better establish their identity.
Over half a million Colombians abandon their homes every year as a result of the country's long-running internal strife, creating a flood of internally displaced persons. Hiram Ruiz of the U.S. Committee on Refugees analyzes the roots of the crisis and the difficulties ahead.