Connecting the Dots: Emerging Migration Trends and Policy Questions in North and Central America

Claudia Masferrer, Víctor M. García-Guerrero, and Silvia E. Giorguli-Saucedo
Date of Publication: 
March, 2018
Source Organization: 
Migration Policy Institute

The authors of this paper take a sweeping look at the entire North American "migration corridor," consisting of Canada, the United States, Mexico, and the "Northern Triangle" countries of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. They note that patterns of migration are much more complex and multi-directional than they were in the past, when south-north migration was the dominant pattern. For example, approximately 1 million U.S.-born persons moved to Mexico during the 2010-2015 period, made up largely of retirees and children of persons deported from the U.S. These children will have the right to reemigrate to the U.S. later in life. Moreover, with a declining birth rate, Mexico is quickly becoming a country of immigration, not just emigration. Pressures to migrate northward have lessened, and will continue to lessen, as a result of the "demographic convergence" occurring in the entire region. By 2050, all six countries will have fertility rates below the replacement level required to sustain population growth. At the same time, life expectancy will increase, creating a larger cohort of older people. As the elderly population increases, there will be a growing need for elder care workers, but without the same supply of surplus workers available in the past. The authors believe that policy makers are not engaged in "clear-headed thinking about how to leverage migration to address coming needs." (Diversity Dynamics)

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Masferrer, C., Garcia-Guerrero, V. M., & Giorguli-Saucedo, S. E. (2018). Connecting the Dots: Emerging Migration Trends and Policy Questions in North and Central America. Washington, D.C.: Migration Policy Institute. Retrieved from