While overall apprehensions at the U.S.-Mexico border remain at historic lows, the flow of unauthorized Central American migrants-many of them unaccompanied minors and families-continues at record levels. This demographic shift comes amidst congressional paralysis on comprehensive immigration reform, divergent state and local community responses to migrant resettlement, and contentious debate in Washington over the use of executive action to overhaul the nation's broken immigration system. Together with community and university partners, CLALS is undertaking a set of projects to better understand the factors driving migration from Central America, the well-being of migrants, and the impact of increased migration on communities across the U.S. Understanding the magnitude and unique nature of migrant flows from Central America is thus essential to addressing the policy challenges associated with shifting trends in immigration to 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 experiences upon arriving 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. Projects under the umbrella of this initiative are also analyzing the educational, legal, and social services needed to address the increase in arrivals in receiving communities across the country.