Archive for the ‘El Salvador’ Category

Why Children are Fleeing Central America

July 31, 2014 Comments off

Why Children are Fleeing Central America (PDF)
Source: Bread for the World Institute

Since last October, more than 52,000 unaccompanied children have fled unspeakable conditions and crossed into the United States. Most have come from Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador. By year’s end, that number is expected to grow to between 70,000 and 90,000. The Department of Homeland Security is preparing for more than 100,000 children to arrive in 2015. The United States is witnessing a humanitarian crisis in this situation.

Many members of Congress are focusing on detention centers and how fast the United States can send these children back to their home countries. Few are asking this question: What are we sending these children back to? Without addressing the root causes of this crisis, such as poverty and violence, this situation will continue. More and more children will be driven to flee their home countries in search of greater educational and economic opportunities, safer and more stable communities, and a path out of hunger.

This crisis is not just about the surge of new arrivals in the United States. It is also about the conditions of poverty, hunger, and violence that force children to leave their homes on a very dangerous and uncertain journey:

• 75 percent of these children are coming from three countries: Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras.
• More than half of the citizens of Honduras and Guatemala live on less than $4 a day.
• About half of all Guatemalans suffer from moderately or severely stunted growth.
• Honduras has the highest murder rate per capita in the world. It is almost five times that of Mexico and twice that of Detroit.
• Residents of all ages, including children, in these countries are getting caught in gang-related violence.

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Select Diaspora Populations in the United States

July 24, 2014 Comments off

Select Diaspora Populations in the United States
Source: Migration Policy Institute

Diaspora populations often perform essential functions in the economic and human capital development of their countries of origin, and can continue playing a strong role in shaping these countries long after they or their forebears departed.The Rockefeller Foundation and the Aspen Institute have launched the Rockefeller-Aspen Diaspora Program (RAD), a joint venture to better understand diaspora members’ financial and human capital investments and to design an approach to foster further growth in these areas. The Migration Policy Institute has partnered with RAD to produce profiles of 15 diaspora communities in the United States, which is home to nearly 60 million first- or second-generation immigrants.

These profiles address 15 different diaspora populations in the United States, gathering in one place key data and analysis on diasporas from Bangladesh, Colombia, El Salvador, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Haiti, India, Kenya, Mexico, Morocco, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines, and Vietnam. Each profile explores the demographic characteristics of first- and second-generation immigrants in a particular diaspora, their educational attainment, household income, employment patterns, geographic distribution, and remittance volume.

Five longer profiles, focusing on Colombia, Egypt, India, Kenya, and the Philippines, also detail historical immigration pathways and contemporary entry trends, poverty status, active diaspora organizations, and country-of-origin policies and institutions related to interaction with emigrants and their descendants abroad.

MPI Issues Final Report on Advancing Regional Competitiveness in the United States, Mexico, and Central America

May 6, 2013 Comments off

MPI Issues Final Report on Advancing Regional Competitiveness in the United States, Mexico, and Central America (PDF)
Source: Migration Policy Institute

The final report of the Regional Migration Study Group, Thinking Regionally to Compete Globally: Leveraging Migration & Human Capital in the U.S., Mexico, and Central America, outlines the powerful demographic, economic, and social forces reshaping Mexico and much of Central America and changing longstanding migration dynamics with the United States. The Study Group, co-chaired by former Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo, former US Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez, and former Guatemalan Vice President and Foreign Minister Eduardo Stein, offers a forward-looking, pragmatic agenda for the United States, Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras — focusing on new collaborative approaches on migration and human-capital development to strengthen regional competitiveness.

Regional Migration Perspectives: Trends, Patterns, and Policies in Central America, Mexico, and the U.S.

March 28, 2013 Comments off

Regional Migration Perspectives: Trends, Patterns, and Policies in Central America, Mexico, and the U.S.
Source: Migration Policy Institute

The Migration Information Source has launched a new special issue that focuses on the topic of migration in the United States, Mexico, and the Northern Triangle of Central America (El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras). The special issue, which will run through April, delves into a wide range of migration developments in this dynamic, interconnected region.

CRS — El Salvador: Political and Economic Conditions and U.S. Relations

December 3, 2012 Comments off

El Salvador: Political and Economic Conditions and U.S. Relations (PDF)

Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)

The United States has maintained a strong interest in developments in El Salvador, a small Central American country with a population of 6 million. During the 1980s, El Salvador was the largest recipient of U.S. aid in Latin America as its government struggled against the leftist Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN) insurgency during a 12-year civil war. A peace accord negotiated in 1992 brought the war to an end and formally assimilated the FMLN into the political process as a political party. After the peace accords were signed, U.S. involvement shifted toward helping successive Nationalist Republican Alliance (ARENA) governments rebuild democracy and implement market-friendly economic reforms.

In March 2009, Mauricio Funes, a former television journalist and the first FMLN presidential candidate without a guerilla past, defeated Rodrigo Ávila of the conservative ARENA party for a five-year presidential term. His inauguration marked the end of more than 20 years of ARENA rule. President Funes has generally pursued moderate policies that have enabled him to form cross-party coalitions in the National Assembly, but caused periodic friction between him and more radical members of his party.

Now in his fourth year in office, President Funes still has high approval ratings, but faces a number of serious challenges. His political influence has weakened since ARENA replaced the FMLN as the largest party in the legislature and the attention of both parties has turned to the 2014 presidential contest, which President Funes is constitutionally barred from contesting. Nevertheless, Funes successfully mediated a resolution to a months-long standoff between the Salvadoran judiciary and legislature over the composition and power of the Supreme Court in August 2012. In the economic realm, the Funes Administration is seeking to boost investment and growth, which has been inhibited by low productivity, natural disasters, and insecurity in the country. In an attempt to address the country’s high rate of violent crime, the Funes government endorsed a historic—and risky—truce involving the country’s largest gangs. The truce has resulted in a dramatic reduction in homicides since March 2012.

Maintaining close ties with the United States has been a primary foreign policy goal of the Funes Administration. During a March 2011 visit to El Salvador, President Barack Obama and President Funes pledged to strengthen cooperation through the new Partnership for Growth (PFG) initiative. The PFG commits both governments to work closely together to boost competitiveness and reduce insecurity in El Salvador. U.S. bilateral assistance, which totaled $28.2 million in FY2012, as well as aid provided through the Central American Regional Security Initiative (CARSI), is supporting PFG priorities. The Administration requested an increase in funding—to $41.8 million—for El Salvador for FY2013. The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) recently closed out a five-year $461 million program that helped develop El Salvador’s northern border region. MCC has determined that El Salvador is eligible to submit a second compact proposal to develop its southern coastal region. It is as yet unclear how the U.S. Treasury Department’s designation of the MS-13 gang as a major transnational criminal organization whose assets will be targeted may affect bilateral anti-gang efforts. See: CRS Report R41731, Central America Regional Security Initiative: Background and Policy Issues for Congress, by Peter J. Meyer and Clare Ribando Seelke.

Border Insecurity in Central America’s Northern Triangle

November 9, 2012 Comments off

Border Insecurity in Central America’s Northern Triangle (PDF)

Source: Migration Policy Institute

Governments in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras have historically neglected their borders, with Mexican-based trafficking cartels the latest to take advantage of the uncontrolled borders. The authors outline the long-standing pattern of government inattention to the borders – probing root causes that range from institutional, economic, and resource challenges to corruption and weak government structures. Arguing that a focus on the borders per se is misleading, the authors sketch a number of policy recommendations, including the need to focus on providing state services to the neglected areas.

Exchanging People for Money: Remittances and Repatriation in Central America

July 31, 2012 Comments off

Exchanging People for Money: Remittances and Repatriation in Central America (PDF)
Source: Bread for the World Institute

Immigrants from Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras sent home more than $10 billion in remittances in 2011— almost all of it from the United States. Remittances comprised 17 percent of GDP in Honduras, 16 percent in El Salvador, and 10 percent in Guatemala and they dwarf both foreign direct investment and overseas development assistance. Remittances reduce poverty and help millions of families that receive them obtain food, clothing, education, housing, and health care, but they can also create dependence on the diaspora. Their greatest potential— fueling productive investment that generates jobs and income and reduces immigration pressure—is often untapped. In addition to the flow of money back to Central America, in recent years the number of immigrants returning from the United States to their home countries has increased. During fiscal year 2011, the United States deported a record 396,906 unauthorized immigrants, including more than 76,000 Central Americans. Central American governments are unprepared for these returned migrants. Many deportees end up re-migrating to the United States because of the lack of opportunities in their native countries.


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