Migration from Latin America and the Caribbean to the United States has grown steadily over the past forty years. In addition to leaving their countries amidst political and economic hardship, the vast majority of these migrants face additional challenges to their legal status. One way to look for solutions is to consider a comprehensive approach to migration through recruitment, retention, return, relief and reform.
There has been a sharp increase in the number of unaccompanied migrant children from Central America attempting to enter the United States in the past few years. This increase is also seen among adults, though to a lesser degree. As the United States, Mexico, and Central American countries struggle to address this crisis, debates have raged surrounding the humanitarian, legal, and political implications of any possible solution to this complex and troubling issue. This memo aims to inform the current debate by integrating data on issues triggering this outflow while also introducing the perspectives of the people and communities they affect. Specifically, it draws on data from 900 municipalities to analyze migrant hometowns in relation to human development,violence, and education.In addition, it presents the results of a nationwide survey in El Salvador and a survey of Central American migrants residing in the Washington, DC metropolitan area.