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MSI Director Leutert Analyzes Central American Migration

Apr 2, 2019 |

In her article, “How Many Central Americans Are Traveling North,” (Spanish version available here) Mexico Security Initiative Director Stephanie Leutert, along with LBJ Student Sarah Spalding, attempt to calculate how many Central Americans are making the trip to the United States. To answer the question, they build a model that incorporates data from U.S. Customs and Border Protection and Mexico’s National Migration Institute, divided into categories such as families, unaccompanied minors, and adults. At the end of the article, Leutert and Spalding find that between FY2014 and 2018, there were approximately 250,000-312,000 people traveling north per year. However, over the past five months, the numbers of Central Americans traveling north has increased dramatically, potentially reaching more than 700,000 for FY2019. Currently, these migration patterns are dominated by Guatemalans (49%), Hondurans 35% and Salvadorans (16%).