A Homeland Security-backed study has found that it’s unlikely Central American countries can boost their economies enough to stop people from trying to migrate to the U.S., undercutting President Biden’s plans to rely on nation-building to curb the border surge.
Incomes rise tenfold — an incomparable lure — for migrants from the key Northern Triangle countries of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador by working in the U.S., according to the Borders, Trade and Immigration Institute.
“The potential economic gain following migration from the Northern Triangle to the U.S.
The BTI study said the Northern Triangle economies have become dangerously dependent on migration to the U.S.
“We know that the reason why people are coming to our border is because of the problems in the region, or in the countries, of economic and food insecurity or long-standing damage from weather events such as hurricanes,” one administration official said last week in summing up Ms.
Those explanations are problematic, according to the BTI Institute, a Homeland Security Center of Excellence led by the University of Houston, which studied survey data of migrants who have been deported and of people in the Northern Triangle who want to migrate.
Family reunification and crime may be causes, but economic opportunity is the overwhelming factor for most traditional migrants from the Northern Triangle — those who don’t have valid asylum claims.
“This poses an important challenge for trying to use economic development as a way of affecting migration decisions,” the analyst said.
“Even if development policies are successful, their impact on migration decisions may be relatively marginal.”.
Researchers emphasized that more study is needed, but they said the drop in Mexican migration “can be attributed to demographic changes in Mexico and the U.S.
territory with no legal barrier, where migration to American states was significant in the 1950s and 1960s.
Harris said her message to would-be migrants right now was “Don’t come.”.
On the wages front, the administration is considering carve-outs to give the Northern Triangle countries special access to guest-worker visas
Cutting off that flow of money would be catastrophic for the home countries, but it “may also inhibit achieving economic development in the longer run,” the study said