Migration and transnational issues:recent trends and prospects for 2020
Sarah J. Mahler. Central America has been a locus of migration, both internal and external, for generations; this fact is unlikely to change in the next two decades. However, migration does not affect the region uniformly. Some countries and communities are highly impacted while others are little affected. Given this textured reality, it is very difficult to provide a comprehensive evaluation of the role of migration to Central America’s development that is truly regional. Rather, the evaluation and prognosis both need to be attentive to nuance and differentiation as much or more than to large-scale trends.With regard to migration, a combination of factors, including regional conflict and sustained demand for low-cost labor, have led to exponential growth in migration of Central Americans northward into the United States, Mexico, and Canada over the past two decades. I expect emigration to continue, albeit at an attenuated pace, over the next decades, driven by Central Americans petitioning for their relatives as well as enduring demand for labor in the North. A consequence of this migration has been and will continue to be growing interdependency between Central and North America. A predominant feature of this interdependency is remittances, which currently support if not sustain economies in much of the region. Contrary to some scholars (Pérez Saínz’s report, for example), I do not predict remittance levels to fall in coming years, in large part because of sustained emigration.
mahlerMigrationtransnationalissues.pdf — PDF document, 177Kb