While unauthorized migration of Mexicans to the U.S. remains at historic lows, the flow of Central American migrants—many of them unaccompanied minors and families—has increased dramatically since 2012. In recent years, this demographic shift has persisted amidst more aggressive, less targeted immigration enforcement activities, the elimination of temporary protections for groups of noncitizens with long histories in the U.S., and divergent state and local community responses to migrant resettlement. Together with community and university partners, CLALS is undertaking a set of projects to better understand the factors driving migration from Central America, the wellbeing of migrants, and the impact of increased migration on communities across the U.S.
Center projects continue to explore the conditions motivating the migration of Central American minors and their families, their safety and welfare during the migration journey, and their integration experiences in the U.S. Research on the circumstances driving migration is contributing to the Center’s efforts to inform legal decisionmaking on the tens of thousands of cases that have overwhelmed the U.S. immigration system. Recent projects under the umbrella of this initiative have also analyzed how communities across the country are addressing the legal, education, health, and social service needs of newcomers.