You are here: American University Centers Latin American and Latino Studies Central American Migration Research Initiative

Back to top

Central American Migration Research Initiative

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 decision-making 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.


Household Contexts and School Integration project represented by puzzle with missing piece

Household Contexts & School Integration of Resettled Youth

Learn More

CARPA project logo

Central American Refugee & Policy Assistance Project

Learn More

Unaccompanied Migrants project logo

Unaccompanied Migrant Children From Central America

Learn More

BTI Project logo 640x366

Central American Migration & U.S. Communities

Learn More

Asylum Decision Making project logo

Country Conditions in Central America & Asylum Decision-Making

Learn More