Educational opportunity—access to high quality schooling—is a critical aspect of social mobility and integration in the United States. This policy brief provides a demographic portrait of children with Central American heritage, with a focus on educational opportunity. We describe educational outcomes as well as some institutional conditions and family circumstances associated with opportunity and we offer four recommendations to improve educational opportunity of Central-American-origin children.
Following the implementation of more stringent immigration policies, there has been an increase in the violation of the rights of migrants—many of whom are minors—who lack the necessary migratory documentation in Mexico and Central America, whether that be in their country of origin, while in transit, at their destination or on their return. As such, consular protection should be positioned, institutionalized and consolidated as a state policy, being a responsibility shared by all countries within the region. Fortunately, in the last decade, Central American governments, following Mexico’s example, have begun to place consular protection as a priority public policy; however, they continue to favor diplomatic work over consular responsibilities.
The number of irregular Central American migrants in transit through Mexico to the United States, mainly from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador - the Northern Triangle of Central America (NTCA) - has risen considerably over the past three years, totaling approximately 392,000 in 2014, just under the record set in 2005. The current flow almost tripled its annual average between 2008 and 2011, fluctuating around 135,000 migrants a year.