The highly politicized debate over a U.S.-Mexico border wall and intense focus on Central American caravans traveling across Mexico have elevated tensions about the best methods to manage regional migration while providing humanitarian protection to those who qualify. The composition of regional migration flows has changed significantly during the past five years, with U.S. apprehensions of migrants from the Northern Triangle countries of Central America (El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras) at the U.S.-Mexico border typically outpacing those of Mexican migrants, and migration shifting from predominantly single males to families and unaccompanied children. The Trump administration’s increasing arrests and removals of Mexicans and Central Americans who have lived illegally in the United States for years and its decision to terminate Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Salvadorans and Hondurans are putting pressure on home-country governments to expand reception and reintegration service capacity.
This Migration Policy Institute (MPI) webinar focuses on reception and reintegration services for returning migrants, along with the heightened pressure policymakers in Mexico and Central America are facing to design systems and programs that support both returnees and the communities in which they settle. Authors of a year-long study of reception and reintegration services in Mexico and the Northern Triangle discuss the findings of their fieldwork. They focus on the differing reintegration needs of individual migrant groups, promising reception and reintegration programs, and ongoing challenges for origin communities in welcoming returnees. They also unveil short- and long-term policy recommendations to improve reintegration strategies, with the goal that successful reception and reintegration will reduce migration flows from Central America and Mexico.