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CLALS | Child Migration from Central America

Unaccompanied Migrant Children from Central America

With support from the Ford Foundation, CLALS has published a report offering a comprehensive orientation to the recent surge in migration to the United States by unaccompanied children (UACs) and families from the Northern Triangle countries of Central America: El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras (Read the full-text report). To inform advocates and others working on behalf of these new arrivals, the report seeks to:

  • Set the unprecedented expansion in the number of youth and family border crossings in the context of long-term migration trends from the region;
  • Present a detailed account of the country conditions ("push factors") driving the exodus of Central American minors and families; and
  • Consider new arrivals' prospects for remaining in the U.S. in light of available forms of deportation relief as well as current policy and advocacy responses.

To familiarize pro bono attorneys and other advocates with the nature and extent of the violence faced by their child clients, special attention is paid throughout to how conditions in their home countries relate to specific legal remedies that may be available to migrant youth and families.

The report is a product of research efforts underway at CLALS exploring the factors behind the migration of Central American children and families. It draws on extensive investigative reporting carried out by Center research fellows and the CLALS-affiliated research foundation InSight Crime, as well as the Center's portfolio of research on Central America's political economy. Data generated by these initiatives have frequently been used as the basis for expert affidavits and testimony in immigration proceedings. This study is intended to further inform the preparation of expert analyses that can be used in judicial and administrative review processes pertaining to the status of recent migrants.

View the PDF presentation of the report (Please cite appropriately)

News and Updates

Other Resources

Below is a list of select resources on UACs prepared by government agencies, research centers, and advocacy organizations. Lawyers and other advocates seeking expert assistance with the preparation of affidavits are welcome to contact Dennis Stinchcomb at