As the Honduran migrant caravan reaches Tijuana seeking to cross the border to the United States, important political and humanitarian controversies have sprung around Central American caravans. However, this migratory phenomenon is not new; it has been occurring for the past years and is expected to continue. To explain the underlying causes of the caravan, the Director of the Migration, Remittances and Development Program of the Inter-American Dialogue, Manuel Orozco, joined Richard Miles, Senior Fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies for a discussion on what is causing Central Americans to leave their countries.
Manuel Orozco’s comments:
“For Central American migration there are four definite factors [that drive migration].…One is the demand for foreign labor in the US. The US has a very robust demand for low skill workers. For example, the US labor force in construction is only 4% of the entire labor force, but nearly half of that group of people are foreign-born workers. Another factor is related to insecurity. The transnational organizations criminal networks create pathways for getting people out…The third factor is transnational ties; the links that exist between families in the US and families in Central America create a factor of migration. The fourth factor, and perhaps the most important one, is the economic; the so-called Northern Triangle and Nicaragua have some of the lowest levels of productivity in the world. They generate incomes that are under a hundred dollars a month.”
Listen to the full episode of CSIS here.