E.g., 06/13/2024
E.g., 06/13/2024
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

Migrantes en la frontera entre Nicaragua y Costa Rica.
Migrantes venezolanos en la frontera colombiana.
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Venezuelan migrants at the Colombian border.
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Crossers at the Nicaragua-Costa Rica border
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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
Cover image for African Migration through the Americas: Drivers, Routes, and Policy Responses
Reports
October 2021
By  Caitlyn Yates and Jessica Bolter
Sentando las bases para una cooperación regional
Reports
April 2021
By  Andrew Selee, Ariel G. Ruiz Soto, Andrea Tanco, Luis Argueta and Jessica Bolter
Laying the Foundation for Regional Cooperation: Migration Policy and Institutional Capacity in Mexico and Central America
Reports
April 2021
By  Andrew Selee, Ariel G. Ruiz Soto, Andrea Tanco, Luis Argueta and Jessica Bolter

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Image of passport page with variety of stamps

Looking for some of the most often-sought information on global migration? This statistics-rich article draws on the most current data sources to offer a primer on international migration, highlighting its types, the size of the migrant population and growth over time, and major sending and receiving countries and regions. Beyond looking at labor and humanitarian migrants and international students, the article examines remittances and more.

Image of marchers at Dominican Day parade in New York City

Immigrants from the Caribbean living in the United States come from a diverse set of countries and territories, with Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Haiti, and Trinidad and Tobago the top origins. This article offers a sociodemographic profile of Caribbean immigrants, who represent 10 percent of the U.S. foreign-born population and nearly half of all Black immigrants in the United States.

Migrants from Haiti intercepted by U.S. authorities off the coast of Florida.

A recent uptick in the number of unauthorized migrants attempting to reach the United States by sea has been largely overshadowed by tensions on the southwest border but serves as an echo of eras past. This article explains why migrant interdictions have risen to recent highs, especially among Cubans and Haitians.

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.

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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.

World of Migration episode 7 tile
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.

changing climate, changing migration episode 14
Expert Q&A, Audio
October 27, 2021

The International Organization for Migration (IOM), in 2015 created a special division responsible for migration-related issues involving the environment and climate change. The division just got a new leader and is looking to embark on a new agenda.

Video, Audio
April 15, 2021

This report release event examines migration management in Mexico and Central America, and the growing government attention to migration functions, enhanced immigration enforcement, increased investments in asylum systems and existing protection frameworks, as well as labor migration policies.

2021.4.8 IOM Muse Mohammed Syrian Refugees Leaving Lebanon   Covid
Video, Audio
April 8, 2021

Marking the release of an IOM-MPI report, this two-panel discussion, features introductory remarks by IOM Director General António Vitorino and examines how the pandemic has reshaped border management and human mobility in 2020 and what the lasting impacts may be throughout 2021 and beyond.

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Recent Activity

Commentaries
May 2023

Amid a potentially dramatic rethink in the U.S. approach to management of migration from the Western Hemisphere, the creation of Regional Processing Centers (now known as Safe Mobility Offices, or SMOs) across Latin America will be central to the post-Title 42 strategy, as this commentary explains.

Expert Q&A, Audio
April 24, 2023

How are U.S. border operations and policies evolving at the U.S.-Mexico border to address rising and diversifying flows? And what is driving increasing immigration from across Latin America, the Caribbean, and beyond? MPI President Andrew Selee speaks with two colleagues who traveled from one end of the nearly 2,000-mile boundary to the other, touring U.S. Customs and Border Protection facilities and interviewing U.S. and Mexican officials, NGO leaders, and others.

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En Nicaragua, una crisis política marcada por el creciente autoritarismo del Presidente Daniel Ortega ha desencadenado la mayor migración de la historia moderna del país, superando incluso las cifras registradas durante la Guerra Fría. Cientos de miles de personas han huido, incluidos intelectuales, artistas y académicos que se han dirigido a Costa Rica, Estados Unidos y otros países, provocando una fuga de cerebros. Este artículo brinda una visión general del éxodo y lo sitúa en un contexto histórico.

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Los países de América Latina y el Caribe están siendo transformados por crisis políticas y económicas, nuevos acuerdos de libre circulación y otras tendencias. La cantidad de inmigrantes que viven en la región casi se ha duplicado desde 2010, un cambio increíble en un corto período de tiempo. Este artículo da sentido a una profunda transición en curso en el hemisferio occidental.

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Political and economic crises, new free-movement arrangements, and other trends are transforming countries across Latin America and the Caribbean, a region once known primarily for its emigration. The number of immigrants living in the region has nearly doubled since 2010, an incredible change in a short period of time. This article makes sense of a profound transition underway in the Western Hemisphere.

Video, Audio, Webinars
March 9, 2023

This expert conversation reviews migration in nine Caribbean countries, outlining challenges and opportunities for the integration of the migrant population and a successful engagement with diasporas to advance development, along with recommendations to strengthen the region’s capacity to accommodate changing patterns of migration.

Video, Audio, Webinars
March 9, 2023

En este webinar, expertos del Banco Interamericano (BID) y el Migration Policy Institute (MPI) presentaron las principales conclusiones de su nueva publicación sobre la realidad migratoria de la región y compartieron algunos de los desafíos y oportunidades para la integración de la población migrante y para capitalizar el potencial de sus diásporas como un impulso para el desarrollo.

Articles

A political crisis marked by Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega’s growing authoritarianism has sparked the largest emigration in the country’s modern history. Hundreds of thousands have fled, including intellectuals, artists, and academics. They increasingly are heading beyond the traditional destination of Costa Rica, to the United States and beyond, as this article details.

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