Mass migration from Central America is nothing new. Civil wars in El Salvador and Guatemala and a revolution in Nicaragua in the 1980s spurred a large refugee migration from Central America.
We speak with César Cuauhtémoc García Hernández, immigration law professor at the University of Denver, about the United States’ involvement in those wars and how the drug war fueled a cycle of deportation. We also talk with Elizabeth Kennedy, a social scientist who studies violence in El Salvador. She is researching the reasons why kids are fleeing El Salvador to make their way north to the U.S. Kennedy’s findings show that while the majority of kids have family in this country (over half have a parent here), gang violence is the most common reason for migration.
Featured image: DOMINIQUE FAGET/AFP/Getty Images
One thought on “A Brief History of the US in Central America”
If you want to follow up on this topic, check the Vice News documentaries about El Salvador. Currently 1 in 12 people are estimated to be in a Gang in El Salvador, and the governemnt just passed a law deeming them “terrorists”, the areas of major violence there now? Exactly the same as the ones during the civil war time. Go there and check it out. La Bestia will have a busy year in 2016.