Border Security | Wilson Center

Border Security

Why child migrants head to the US


"These three main countries from which the children are fleeing are among the nations with top five murder rates in the world (along with Belize and Venezuela), according to the most recent United Nations data. In some cases, such as Guatemala, the homicide rate has actually declined slightly in recent years. But crimes like extortion have become "widespread and intolerable," says Cynthia Arnson, the Latin America director at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. "Everyone is hit, down to the person at the bottom of the informal economy selling chewing gum."

Mexico is weak link to cross-border immigration enforcement


"At the gated entrance topped with concertina wire, a group of Denver-bound Salvadoran men arrived on a recent afternoon asking for water, saying they had been robbed at gunpoint along the tracks a few minutes earlier. Several other travelers were nursing bruises and broken ribs from beatings they blamed on gang members or local police. A young Honduran woman said she was grateful she’d survived an assault with little more than a groping.

Border Crisis

Eric Olson said "there's a deep concern about the violence in Central America but people are asking hard questions about what our money is going to be used for and what real impact it is going to have."

To listen to him being quoted, please click here

U.S. Is The Largest But Not The Only Recipient Of Central American Immigrants In Latest Surge


"Costa Rica and Panama are seen as the emerging economic and political safe havens of Central America with relatively stable democratic governments and growing markets for work. Nicaragua, while having the second-highest level of poverty in the Western Hemisphere and a less-than-transparent government, is still viewed by many migrants from the Northern Triangle as a desirable destination given its close proximity to their home nations, lower violent crime levels and the possibility of family members living there.

It's tough to live without hope


"Over the years they have grown into powerful crime networks, joining forces with Mexican cartels, including the Zetas, which use this Central American country as a pathway between South and North America. The result is pervasive violence. Military officials attribute up to 90 percent of killings to drug violence.

Rate of unaccompanied girls crossing into US outpaces boys


"But as to the question of why more girls in particular are attempting to cross the U.S.-Mexico border, neither Pew nor the UNHCR provided any clues.

What U.S., Central America Have to Tackle to Stem Border Crisis


"The U.S. is largely focused on getting Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala's leaders to agree to take back as many children as possible, cooperate in reintegrating them and outline what they are doing to stem the exodus of children and families, said Eric Olson, associate director of the Woodrow Wilson Center’s Latin American Program. 

No easy solutions for child migrant crisis


Immigration Crisis Inseparable From International Criminal Networks – Honduras Minister

"WASHINGTON, July 24 (RIA Novosti) - Foreign minister of Honduras, Mireya Agüero de Corrales, told a meeting of Central American foreign ministers at the Wilson Center on Thursday that the humanitarian crisis of migrant minors is one and the same as the international crime networks and must be addressed multilaterally by all nations involved in the routes.

“There is a war being waged in our territory,” said Corrales, referring to the international organized crime networks that thrive along Central American routes.

Central American Leaders Preview Obama Meeting


"In a companion event nearby, the foreign ministers of Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala delivered a similar message.

Their countries cannot act alone to stanch the flow of migrants fleeing a surge of gang violence and a drought of economic opportunity, they said at the Wilson Center, another think tank. It would take an international effort to oust multinational human and drug smuggling organizations from operating in their countries.