July 1, 2014

Washington D.C. – Today, the American Immigration Council releases No Childhood Here: Why Central American Children Are Fleeing Their Homes by Elizabeth Kennedy.
Based on evidence obtained through 322 interviews with children recently returned to El Salvador, as well as conversations with journalists and local, regional, and government officials, this report sheds light on some of the structural conditions that compel minors to migrate to the United States or other countries in the region. In particular, crime, gang threats, or violence appear to be the strongest determinants for children’s decision to emigrate. The report finds that through the information collected and analyzed to date, violence, extreme poverty, and family reunification play important roles in pushing kids to leave their country of origin.
Kennedy is a Fulbright Fellow currently conducting interviews with child migrants in El Salvador and documenting what drives these children to flee their home, and has been conducting research into the causes of child migration and the effects of child deportation for several years.
To view the report in its entirety, see: