Factors Driving Salvadoran Youth Migration: A Formative Assessment Focused on Salvadoran Repatriation Facilities.
Anastario, Michael P. Barrick, Kelle. Gibbs, Deborah. Pitts, Wayne. Werth, Rose. Lattimore, Pamela K.
Published: December 2015
Children and Youth Services Review
Vol. 59 , p. 97-104
Customer Service Department 6277 Sea Harbor Drive
Orlando, FL 32887-4800
Tel: +1 (877) 839-7126
Fax: +1 (407) 363-1354
BackgroundBeginning in early 2014, the United States' southern border was flooded with an unprecedented number of Central American migrant youth attempting to enter the United States. In response to the influx of immigrants, the Obama administration requested $3.7 billion in emergency funding to be allocated to border security, detention, removal, immigration courts, and care for children. We conducted this research with the aims of identifying and understanding push factors for Salvadoran youth migration and of raising awareness of the need for services among recently deported youths.MethodsData for this mixed-methods study are drawn from field research conducted in El Salvador between 2014 and 2015. We conducted direct observation and 14 in-depth semi-structured interviews with case workers. We analyzed quantitative data from the Salvadoran respondents to the Latin American Public Opinion Project (LAPOP) and data from the Dirección General de Migración y Extranjería (DGME).ResultsIn the context of an intergenerational culture of migration, case workers describe how family reunification, security, coyote payment, and socioeconomic factors contribute as push factors for Salvadoran youth migration. Quantitative data illustrate a spike in youth repatriated by land in July 2014, and family reunification, insecurity, and economic factors were primary push factors reported for youths repatriated to El Salvador via land.ConclusionsThis assessment of Salvadoran youth migration push factors relied on interview data provided by case workers who have processed the multiple complex stories of youths at risk for migration. Quantitative data triangulated findings that show how family reunification, violence, and socioeconomic factors act within an intergenerational culture of migration to push Salvadoran youths into a dangerous migration attempt. Our findings can be used to inform the development of strategies to provide services to Salvadoran youths at risk for future migration and to generate mechanisms for providing those services. (Author abstract)
MIGRANT CHILDREN; risk factors; socioeconomic influences; family reunification; community violence; DEPORTATION; UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANTS