U.S. Domestic Policy | Wilson Center

U.S. Domestic Policy

Question, answers about the border surge



Word of mouth in Central American is strong and there is a pervasive belief that the U.S. has been relaxing its immigration stance toward minors. The belief was spurred by recent discussions about possibly changing U.S. immigration policy and by a change in U.S. law in 2008 that provided more rights to minors at the border that included a hearing before a judge.

Central American leaders want Washington's help with immigration crisis


Since signing an agreement with Central American countries and the Dominican Republic in 2008, the United States has spent about $800 million on security and law enforcement assistance in the region, with roughly two-thirds of the money sent to Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras.

Lawmakers and regional experts say that any new requests for aid are likely to be greeted with skepticism.

Was $642 Million in U.S. Aid To Central America Over 2 Years Too Much Or Not Enough?


"The problem, according to both U.S. officials and analysts, is twofold: first, the current level of funding is insufficient, and, second, the governmental agencies and institutions that the USAID funds are being channeled into must be reformed to avoid corruption and mismanagement.

“The question is, 'Is there a strategic plan that deals with both accountability and transparency?'” Cynthia Arnson, the Latin American Program director at the Woodrow Wilson Center, asked. “You can’t just deal with the security problem in isolation.”

Data Journalism and Policymaking: A Changing Landscape


The Commons Lab Presents a Roundtable in Open Innovation and Science:

Data Journalism and Policymaking: A Changing Landscape

Wednesday, July 30th, 10:00am - 12:00pm, 5th Floor Conference Room

Expert: To stop immigration flood, US must help Central Americ

"PHOENIX -- If the United States wants to reduce the amount of Central American illegal immigrants pouring over the border, it needs to exercise its influence in the region, an expert said.

"We need to be much smarter about how we help governments," Cynthia Arnson, director of the Latin American Program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars told News/Talk 92.3 KTAR's Bruce St. James and Pamela Hughes, Making Sense of the Madness.

Arnson said a variety of factors resulted in the recent surge in immigrants coming to America.

Cynthia Arnson on the unaccompanied minors crisis.

Program Director Cynthia Arnson provides an interview with KTAR on the unaccompanied minors crisis. 
To listen to the full interview, please click here

A Central American expert explains the root causes of the migrant crisis


"There needs to be an effort to multiply those kinds of community-based efforts sometimes by a factor of 10, or 50, or even 100 before they show real traction" 


'Dangerous Passage: Central America In Crisis And the Exodus of Unaccompanied Minors': Cynthia J. Arnson Testifies Before the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations

Cynthia J. Arnson, Director of the Latin American Program, joined a panel of experts in testifying before the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations to discuss crisis in Central America and what's driving the exodus of unaccompanied minors.

Time: 10:00 AM
Location: Senate Dirksen 419
Presiding: Senator Menendez

'Challenges at the Border: Examining and Addressing the Root Causes Behind the Rise in Apprehensions at the Southern Border': Eric Olson Testifies before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs

Eric L. Olson, Associate Director of the Latin American Program, joined a panel of experts in testifying before the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs on examining and addressing the root causes behind the rise in apprehensions at the southern border.

To watch the webcast go here. Olson's testimony is available for download below.

Poverty, violence fuel exodus of youths from Honduras to U.S.


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.