Global Migration Flows

08/10/2016 International Organization for Migration (IOM)

world map.pngThe GLOBAL MIGRATION FLOWS interactive app tracks migrants around the world. This application is now being hosted by It is endlessly fascinating to explore where we’re from. The underlying data for the map was published by the UN DESA in 2015.

Using the app:
Choose whether you want to access information about migrants leaving a country (Outward) or migrants entering a country (Inward). Then click on a country and watch the pattern of migration to or from the chosen country. Countries that neither send nor receive migrants will fade out. Hover over a country or over a migrant cluster to access the data. Each circle represents up to 20,000 migrants.

This migration visualization tool is being developed by Locus Insight in collaboration with IOM. Locus Insight is a data visualization studio dedicated to clarifying complex data through engaging interactive charts. Our work is informed by an intelligent understanding of current world topics and animated by the latest interactive data technology.

Read more and use the app…

Ancient Mayan languages are creating problems for today’s immigration courts

08/09/2016 Los Angeles Times

mayanThe day Vinicio Nicolas found out whether he would be allowed to stay in the United States, and hopefully far from the gang trying to recruit him in Guatemala, he brought along an interpreter.

With the stakes so high, he wanted someone who spoke his native tongue. He had arrived in the U.S. just eight months before, and his English wasn’t good. But neither was his Spanish.

The language the 15-year-old needed an interpreter to wrestle with — for the sake of his future — was an ancient Mayan one called Q’anjob’al, or Kanjobal.

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The Forgotten History Behind America’s Immigration Debate

08/09/2016 TIME

immigrationThese days, debates over immigration may seem like an inescapable and constant part of American politics. From the Supreme Court to thePresidential election, everyone has an opinion about how to fix a system that many perceive as broken.

But as immigration historian David Reimers tells TIME, that’s not actually the case. The current debate over immigration–especially when it comes to immigration from Mexico—is largely a product of the 20th century. “For so much of our history, immigrants just sort of came in,” says Reimers, a professor emeritus of history at NYU. “We had a very loose border with Mexico.”

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US and Mexico agree to improve asylum access for tens of thousands of refugees

07/12/16 The Guardian

us mex flagThe US and Mexico have agreed to improve access to asylum for the tens of thousands of Central Americans fleeing unbridled violence in their countries, and to explore alternatives to detention.

The commitments were laid out in a draft document circulated at the end of a two-day meeting last week on the plight of migrants from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. Hosted by the UN refugee agency, the summit in Costa Rica sought to raise the profile of and seek improved responses to the Central American refugee crisis, and brought together NGOs, representatives from refugees’ countries of origin, as well as those from transit and asylum countries.

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Migration is a business on Mexico’s southern border

06/08/16 MarketPlace

fence at borderThere’s a black market that thrives every day in the very shadow of the legal border crossings that link Mexico and Guatemala — to the chagrin of the United States. After the unaccompanied minors crisis in 2014, when thousands of Central American children arrived on the U.S. border after transiting Mexico, the U.S. started spending millions of dollars to help Mexico secure its very porous southern border with Guatemala.

But little has changed on a large section of the Guatemala-Mexico border marked by the Rio Suchiate, historically a transit point for goods and people in either direction.

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Illegal trade thrives along Mexico-Guatemala border

06/30/16 MarketPlace  

Guate-MexborderIn 2012, a senior official in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security declared that Mexico’s southern border with Guatemala was now essentially the southern border of the United States.

That was two years before the 2014 child migrant crisis that saw tens of thousands of unaccompanied children from Central America crossing or attempting to cross into the U.S. from Mexico. Since then, the U.S. has expanded its own border enforcement efforts by assisting Mexico on its southern border. In 2015, fewer Central Americans reached the U.S., though the numbers vary from season to season.

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As Mexican Families Leave U.S. for Home, Film Focuses on the Children

3/16/16 New York Times 

For 10 years, Alberta Ojera bounced around the United States, from Poughkeepsie, N.Y., to Chicago to New York City. But without legal status, she could not go home to Mexico to visit her aging parents. So in 2012, Ms. Ojera and her three children, all born in Chicago, moved back to the small town of Ciénega de Zimatlán.

They traded a cramped apartment for a farm. But it came at a cost.
Her partner and the father of their children, Carlos Ramirez, stayed behind in Queens to support the family. He works six days a week as a cook at a bar on the Upper East Side of Manhattan and occasionally works as a tattoo artist.


Their story has become a common one: A recent Pew Research Center report showed that from 2009 to 2014, more Mexican immigrants and their families, including their American-born children, returned to Mexico than migrated to the United States.

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