Northward Migration from the Northern Triangle: A Compendium of Research on Historical and Root Causes

January 2022

Illegal migration from Central America’s Northern Triangle countries (Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador) is at record levels, as a result of U.S. demand for cheap labor and restrictive immigration policies, decades of Central American armed conflict and increasing rates of violent crime, entrenched poverty and inequality, and perceptions of family reunification and economic opportunities in the U.S. Particularly, concentrated waves of migration have occurred as a result of deteriorating and fluctuating economic and social conditions and events. These “triggers” have led to sudden internal displacement and outward migration through the Central America sub-region, predominantly through Mexico. Migration surges have brought thousands of migrants to the U.S. southern border, overwhelming U.S. law enforcement and immigration authorities.

This compendium of research on historical and root causes of migration from the Northern Triangle combines some of OAA’s own research with input from our local partners and other important available work.

Click here to read the report.