In her recent Foreign Affairs article, The Migration DisconnectStephanie Leutert, Director of the Strauss Center’s Mexico Security Initiative, attempts to answer the question of why Central American migrants keep coming despite the issue receiving years of high-level attention and billions of dollars.

In the Washington Post article, How Climate Change is Affecting Rural Honduras and Pushing People NorthStephanie Leutert, Strauss Director of the Mexico Security Initiative, looks at the threat climate change poses to Honduran farmers. She explains that Honduras is one of the countries most vulnerable to climate change. The economy is weather dependent--with one out of every four Hondurans working in agriculture--and the country has already seen a rise in temperatures, various droughts, and more frequent torrential downpours. Most affected has been the coffee sector, where a coffee disease spread to higher altitudes by a warming climate has forced farmers to invest in medicine to keep their crops healthy. When combined with low global prices, the coffee has often become too expensive to sell on the global market. Climate change's effects are just beginning, and as conditions worsen, migrants will increasingly look to move within Honduras and also to the United States.

In his Washington Post article, What we Really Know About China’s Reform and Opening UpStrauss Distinguished Scholar Joshua Eisenman debunks some of the widely held myths about China’s Reform and Opening Up program begun in 1978. Reform and Opening Up is a “blend of market and socialist policies initiated by Deng Xiaoping” and the communist party has credited growth and prosperity in China to it. State media, schools, and museums have been spreading this message.

The Robert Strauss Center and Ohio Northern University’s Pettit College of Law are excited to announce that Kristen Eichensehr, Assistant Professor at UCLA School of Law, is the winner of the 2018 Mike Lewis Prize for National Security Law Scholarship.

In her recent Lawfare article, The Invisible Caravans, the Director of the Mexico Security Initiative, Stephanie Leutert, describes the reality of the migrant caravan making its way towards the United States. She begins with the fact that the caravan makes up only 10% of the total people who will seek asylum in the United States in a month, implying that President Trump’s response has been disproportionate. Throughout the article, she explains how difficult the journey is, and why people choose to endure the horrible conditions. Leutert emphasizes that migrants are leaving because they can’t afford basic food supplies, they are surrounded by gang violence, they have precarious employment, and low salaries. She also describes the conditions migrants face along the route; including less than three meals a day, extreme heat, and horrible blisters that are the result of wearing cheap shoes, sweat-soaked socks and walking tens of miles a day. Leutert argues that “the mixture of desperation, hunger and insecurity, combined with the absence of hope for change at the ballot box, has proved a potent force for pushing Hondurans out of their homes.”

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