E.g., 10/27/2021
E.g., 10/27/2021
North America

North America

North America is a dynamic migration region, with the United States home to more immigrants than any other country in the world, the Mexico-U.S. corridor the globe's top migration corridor, and Canada a leading destination for migrants. Research collected here focuses on everything from visa policy and border management to immigrant integration, national identity, the demographics of immigrants in the region and their educational and workforce outcomes, and ways to more effectively use migration policy as a lever for national and regional competitiveness.

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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.

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Over half of all Central American foreign born in the United States are from El Salvador and Guatemala. MPI's Megan Davy examines the numbers as well as events and policies that have shaped Central American migration.

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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.

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The Central America Free Trade Agreement may be the most important economic event in the region in 20 years. However, it seems unlikely to reverse established migration trends, reports Salomon Cohen.

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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.

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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

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MPI's Julia Gelatt reports on the Judiciary Committee's proposals for immigration reform, which set the stage for Senate debate on the topic, plus other immigration news.

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The growth of violent gangs such as MS-13, which operates in the United States and Central America, has caught the attention of the U.S. media and law enforcement. However, the role of migration policies in this growth deserves closer attention, finds MPI's Mary Helen Johnson.

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