Why do People Migrate?

The history of migration and how we got to the current caravan. (Check back for more materials)



The migrant caravan, explained.

They made the decision to leave their home countries, assessing that the danger of leaving was outstripped by the danger of facing gang death threats or feeding a family on $5 per day. 

Another explanation of the roots of the caravan.

The caravans reflect both the ongoing nature of the structural problems compelling emigration from Central America’s northern triangle, the failures of U.S. migration and foreign policy, and the dwindling options for these refugees to seek safety in the region.

How American policy created the migrant caravan.

The migration crisis stems not from foreign nations duping the United States but rather from American economic development policies designed primarily to promote goals — including anti-communism, unregulated foreign markets and, later, drug control — that have exacerbated the poverty, despair and violence such policies were supposed to alleviate.

Why people are leaving Honduras.

In Honduras’ biggest cities, gang members, who often work in collusion with police and soldiers, are to blame for much of the violence and extortion. Things aren’t much calmer in the country’s rural areas, where state security forces have been deployed with the stated purpose of fighting against drug trafficking.

For a more in-depth look:

The Sanctuary Syllabus: a bunch of professors, grad students, and activists put this together after Trump's DACA announcement. It has materials on a number of topics to introduce readers to the intellectual and social histories that have given life to today’s sanctuary movement. In addition to articles specifically about the Sanctuary Movement, there's also reporting, academic, and artistic works that explain what's going on now. 

This turned into a collective, loosely led course on migration and sanctuary, with all of the videos available online. The speakers are professors, activists, lawyers, and grad students. 

A Brief Introduction: U.S. Intervention in Central America, an educational resource created by the Pioneer Valley Workers Center covering the impacts of U.S. intervention — military and economic — in Central America and the relationship between climate change and migration.

primer on US immigration policy - this is a government brief if you want all the details on how it works.