What is Behind the Sudden Surge of Child Migrants? The Case of the Northern Triangle and Mexico

37 Pages Posted: 1 Aug 2018  

Julio Acuna

Ohio State University (OSU); Universidad San Francisco de Quito (USFQ)

Date Written: July 12, 2018

Abstract

Since 2009 there has been a significant increase in the number of unaccompanied child migrants, family units and adults from Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala arriving at U.S. borders. This paper uses Customs and Border Protection data and data from the countries of origin of these children to identify the causes behind the sudden surge in the number of children arriving at U.S. borders. The results suggest that violence in the countries of origin is a key driver of child migration. The results are also consistent with a learning model, in which families, after being exposed to several policy interventions that aim to deter child migration, decrease their likelihood of sending a child. This is the case even when violence towards children has increased.

Keywords: Child Migration, Unaccompanied Child Migration, Family Units Migration, Northern Triangle, Violence

JEL Classification: O15, J61, F22

Suggested Citation

Acuna, Julio, What is Behind the Sudden Surge of Child Migrants? The Case of the Northern Triangle and Mexico (July 12, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3208824 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3208824

Julio Acuna (Contact Author)

Ohio State University (OSU) ( email )

Blankenship Hall-2010
901 Woody Hayes Drive
Columbus, OH OH 43210
United States

Universidad San Francisco de Quito (USFQ) ( email )

Diego de Robles y Vía Interoceánic
Campus Cumbayá
QUITO, PICHINCHA 17-1200-84
Ecuador

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