E.g., 06/15/2024
E.g., 06/15/2024
Central America & the Caribbean

Central America & the Caribbean

The countries of Central America's Northern Triangle (El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras) have seen a significant number of their citizens migrate to the United States. Immigrants from the Caribbean represent half of all Black immigrants in the United States. As such, the ties between these countries and their diasporas have taken on new importance, as has the integration of these immigrants in their country of settlement. Research here explores the demographics, migration flows, human-capital development, interconnected policy realities, and outcomes for immigrants from Central America and the Caribbean. (For research specific to Mexico, see North America.)

Recent Activity

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Reports
April 2021
By  Meghan Benton, Jeanne Batalova, Samuel Davidoff-Gore and Timo Schmidt
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Reports
March 2021
By  Camille Le Coz, Samuel Davidoff-Gore, Timo Schmidt, Susan Fratzke, Andrea Tanco, María Belén Zanzuchi and Jessica Bolter
A child walks by a destroyed building in Syria.
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CaribbeanFlags PaulStein Flickr

Approximately 4 million immigrants from the Caribbean resided in the United States in 2014, representing 9 percent of the country's total immigrant population. While 90 percent of Caribbean immigrants come from five countries, this population overall is very diverse in its skill levels, racial composition, language background, and immigration pathways. This Spotlight article provides information on the Caribbean immigrant population in the United States, focusing on its size, geographic distribution, and socioeconomic characteristics.

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More than 100 Jamaicans are deported on average each month from the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada, and are returned to a country grappling with high levels of crime and poverty. This article explores the constructive role that deported migrants, who are often socially stigmatized upon return, can play in rebuilding their lives while contributing to the larger project of national development in Jamaica.

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News of the Zika virus outbreak in Latin America has raised alarm bells, resulting in scattered calls for tighter restrictions on international entries to the United States. Evidence shows, however, that closing borders and restrictions on international travel tend to have little impact on the spread of infectious diseases. This feature article explores the linkages between public health and migration in the Americas.

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The complex push and pull factors driving child and family migration from Central America to the United States have changed little since the 2014 crisis. Despite some fluctuation in arrival numbers, recent trends suggest the characteristics of an enduring phenomenon. This Policy Beat explores the latest developments in U.S. policy responses, including enforcement operations, development assistance, and family detention.

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Signed more than 30 years ago, the Cartagena Declaration sought to address rising flows of refugees and establish regional solidarity in refugee protection in Latin America. This article explores the evolution of refugee and asylum policies in Latin America amid the long-running Colombian civil war, as well as the region's response to the current global refugee crisis.

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Recent Activity

Reports
April 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic dramatically curtailed cross-border mobility in 2020, affecting travelers and migrants around the world. This report presents a first-of-its-kind analysis of the many thousands of travel restrictions and border closures imposed by governments to curb the spread of the virus. It examines how these policies evolved, varied across countries and regions, and what these trends may mean for the future of international movement.

Commentaries
March 2021

The increase in unaccompanied child arrivals at the U.S.-Mexico border in February and March has led to backups and overcrowding at U.S. Customs and Border Protection facilities ill-suited to house children, in part due to earlier significant reductions in Office of Refugee Resettlement shelter capacity during 2020. This commentary explores preparedness shortfalls and the options the Biden administration has moving forward.

Expert Q&A, Audio
March 26, 2021

Hundreds of thousands of migrants have left Central America in recent years, and climate extremes have been identified as one of the factors that might be driving this movement, along with elements such as political instability and violence. In this episode of our Changing Climate, Changing Migration podcast, we hear from geographer and climatologist Diego Pons, of Colorado State University, to dissect how changing climate, food insecurity, and migration intersect in this region.

Reports
March 2021

Ten years into Syria's conflict, Syrians remain the largest refugee population worldwide. As they face limited prospects for resettlement or safe return, how can host countries and donors promote resilience for refugees and host communities alike? This report offers examples of creative policy solutions in the areas of protection, social protection, education, livelihoods, and health care from displacement contexts in 16 countries.

Articles

Millions of people flee civil wars for safety elsewhere, but predicting precisely when refugees and asylum seekers will be displaced is not as easy as it seems. There is not always a direct correlation between episodes of violence and patterns of migration. This article explores how civilians require both motivation and opportunity to leave conflict zones.

Expert Q&A, Audio
March 2, 2021

Climate change and international migration both are global issues with aspects that countries try to manage through treaties, pacts, and other types of agreements. But most of the global governance frameworks that exist for climate-induced migration require only voluntary commitments by states.

Articles

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.

Expert Q&A, Audio
February 5, 2021

Climate change is already affecting how, whether, and where people migrate. But environmental change is likely to become more extreme, unless the world takes serious action now. How might changes made now impact what future migration looks like? This Changing Climate, Changing Migration episode features a conversation with Robert McLeman, a geographer and environmental studies expert at Canada’s Wilfrid Laurier University, about the possible scenarios that lie ahead for the relationship between climate change and migration, depending on how countries act in the next few decades.

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