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Children Die at Record Speed on U.S. Border While Coyotes Get Rich (Bloomberg)

October 19, 2019

From the article:

Typically, migrants don’t come from the very poorest communities in their home countries, where people struggle to cover such coyote costs, or from the middle class. Rather, they represent a range from $5,000 to $10,000 per capita in 2009 dollars, according to Michael Clemens, an economist at the Center for Global Development in Washington. This happens to be the level that the economies of El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala have reached.

Researchers say there’s a more effective deterrent to such schemes: opening more lawful channels. Clemens, at the Center for Global Development, noted that illegal immigration from Mexico dropped in recent years after U.S. authorities increased the supply of H-2 visas for temporary work, almost all of them going to Mexicans—a trend that’s continued under Trump.

The current debate in Washington assumes that “hardcore enforcement and security assistance in Central America will be enough, without any kind of expansion of lawful channels,” Clemens said. “That flies in the face of the lessons of history.”

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Photo of Michael Clemens
Director of Migration, Displacement, and Humanitarian Policy and Senior Fellow