Beyond the Border: Central American Migration and Mexico's Migratory Policy
Over the past two years, Central American migration to the United States has become a prominent security and immigration concern and a centerpiece in the current U.S. administration’s efforts to secure the U.S.-Mexico border. However, given changing U.S. policies, persistent insecurity in the Northern Triangle (El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala), and the evolving migrant demographics of more women and children heading north, Mexico also faces significant policy challenges in addressing the 300,000+ Central American migrants moving through its territory each year. This Strauss Center sponsored Policy Research Project (PRP) will take a Mexican policy perspective on Central American migration. It will grapple with the complicated questions that Mexico faces as a migration transit corridor and destination for international migrants. The PRP will cover the security concerns (gangs, drug-trafficking groups, and endemic gender-based violence) that force Central Americans to flee their communities; the migrant smuggling market; the overlap of migrant smuggling routes with organized criminal groups that tax each migrant, and the local and regional groups that exploit, extort, and attack migrants with almost complete impunity. It will also evaluate current Mexican policy efforts both to protect these individuals, process their asylum claims, and enforce immigration laws; and finally, it will touch on U.S. border and immigration policies that determine Central Americans’ futures once they cross into the United States.