You are here: Central American Refugee Policy & Assistance Project

Back to top

Central American Refugee Policy & Assistance Project

Drawing on Center-sponsored research and findings from the Central American Migration Research Initiative, CLALS has launched the Central American Refugee Policy and Assistance project (CARPA) to further a range of activities aimed at inform the public regarding the factors driving mass migration from Central America and to better understand and help to overcome the challenges Central Americans encounter as they seek to settle in the U.S.

Country Conditions Expertise

Drawing on the in-depth Central America expertise of CLALS faculty and research fellows, and the legal skills of faculty and law students at the Washington College of Law Immigrant Justice Clinic, CLALS is providing expert assistance to law firms and non-profit legal service providers representing Central American children and families seeking asylum in the United States. CLALS works with attorneys to draft case-specific expert declarations assessing the validity of clients’ claims regarding circumstances that motivated them to flee their countries of origin. These declarations address claims about conditions in particular locations in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras and about claimants’ vulnerability to specific types of harm, including homicide, sexual violence, gang recruitment, kidnapping, extortion, domestic violence, and child abuse.  

Lawyers and other advocates seeking expert assistance with the preparation of affidavits are welcome to contact Dennis Stinchcomb at for more information. 

The Christopher Reynolds Foundation has generously provided funds to support a portion of this work.

Presentations and Trainings 

Webinar: The Central American Youth Refugee Crisis: Causes, Consequences, and Challenges in the Trump Era (Full Video

As debates about immigration roil the national political debate in the United States, CLALS hosted a webinar, in collaboration with the CPC Learning Network, to discuss the exodus of unaccompanied children and families from the Northern Triangle countries of Central America. Topics included country conditions driving continued migration, the dangers encountered while journeying through Mexico, detention practices on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border, and challenges to securing protection in the U.S. The webinar aims to inform advocates and others working on behalf of these new arrivals as well as those advocating for children around the world. 

Eric Hershberg, Director, CLALS 
Dennis Stinchcomb, Assistant Director for Research, CLALS 
Jayesh Rathod, Professor of Law, American University Washington College of Law 
Elissa Steglich, Clinical Professor, University of Texas Law School