E.g., 09/23/2023
E.g., 09/23/2023
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
November 2020
By  Jeanne Batalova, Andriy Shymonyak and Michelle Mittelstadt
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Fact Sheets
August 2020
By  Diego Chaves-González and Carlos Echeverría-Estrada
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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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A child walks by a destroyed building in Syria.

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.

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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.

climate change migration flood

Climate change is affecting human movement now, causing internal displacement and international migration, and will do so in the future. But the impact is often indirect, and rarely is the process as straightforward as one might think. This article provides an overview of research on how climatic hazards drive and affect migration, reviewing which types of people might migrate and under what conditions.

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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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The United States is the top global destination for Haitian migrants, who left Haiti in the wake of political instability and a series of natural disasters, including a 2010 earthquake that devastated the country. Haitian immigrants in the United States contribute an important flow of remittances to their country of origin, which is the second largest in the world as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP). Remittances to Haiti have increased nearly sixfold since 2000.

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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.

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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.

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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?

2020 IOM MuseMohammad Border area of Haquillas is home to several Venezuelans
Audio
October 27, 2020

En dicho diálogo, algunos de los representantes de las organizaciones que conforman la red en Norteamérica, Centroamérica, Sudamérica y el Caribe, comparten la manera como se coordinan, las acciones que se llevan a cabo y las dificultades, retos y desafíos que atraviesan.

EVENT PHOTO 2019.10.29 Latin American Response to Venuzuealan and Nicaraguan Migration Crises
Video, Audio
October 29, 2019

Leading policymakers and key stakeholders from Latin America, as well as representatives of major international institutions, offer their views on the challenges ahead as Latin American governments seek to chart strategies for responding to large-scale forced migration flows, such as those from Venezuela and Nicaragua. Spanish and English versions of the remarks are available.

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Recent Activity

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.

Commentaries
June 2022

La Declaración de Los Ángeles sobre Migración y Protección, firmada por los líderes de los países del hemisferio occidental al concluirse la Cumbre de las Américas, supone un importante paso progresivo en la creación de un lenguaje común y un coherente conjunto de ideas para gestionar, de forma cooperativa, los flujos migratorios en las Américas, una región que ha sido testigo de una gran movilidad en años recientes.

Reports
June 2022

La migración irregular desde El Salvador, Guatemala y Honduras se ha convertido en una de las principales características del panorama migratorio en Centroamérica y Norteamérica, pero existen pocas vías legales para los centroamericanos que se ven presionados a emigrar. Este informe explora cómo Canadá, México y Costa Rica podrían utilizar los programas de trabajo temporal existentes para ampliar las opciones de migración legal.

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, Audio, 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.

Articles

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.

Policy Briefs
May 2022

Para la mayoría de las personas centroamericanas que se ven forzadas a abandonar sus hogares, viajar a México o Estados Unidos para solicitar refugio o asilo es la única opción para buscar protección internacional. A la fecha, el reasentamiento de personas refugiadas ha sido utilizado de manera limitada en la región. Este informe explora el papel que el reasentamiento y otras vías de protección humanitarias desempeñan en atender estas necesidades.

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