Border Security

How Many Central Americans are Traveling North? An Update

By Stephanie Leutert, Sarah Spalding
Monday, August 12, 2019, 1:38 PM

Every month, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Mexico's National Migration Institute (Instituto Nacional de Migración, INM) release their migration apprehension numbers that chart the movements of Central Americans across the region. These numbers hint at larger stories of difficult conditions in Central America, varying levels of migratory enforcement in Mexico, and ever-shifting U.S. policies. To tell a piece of this larger story, we created a model for Lawfare—based largely on CBP and INM numbers, along with other inputs—that aims to estimate the total number of Central Americans leaving the region over the past 17 years. This model has been updated every month, and now reflects U.S. numbers through July 2019 and Mexican numbers through June 2019. A description of the methodology can also now be found in Spanish, with the date reflecting the original publication date of the English methodology.