Pathways for Labor Migration from Northern Central America: Five Difficult but Necessary Proposals

Research Paper — Michael A. Clemens

Very few labor-based pathways for regular migration are available for people in Northern Central America (NCA), often called the ‘Northern Triangle’ of Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador. This paper by Michael A. Clemens briefly summarizes the state of labor-based migration channels in the region. It then argues that extending those channels is a necessary complement to asylum reform even for the goal of humanitarian protection. It concludes by arguing that five recommendations for long-term reform, though difficult, are needed to unleash the maximum shared benefit of these pathways.


  • Michael A. Clemens

    Michael Clemens is a Senior Fellow and Program Director at the Center for Global Development, an Adjunct Professor at the Georgetown University Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, a Research Fellow at the IZA Institute of Labor Economics in Bonn, and an External Research Fellow at the Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM) in the Department of Economics, University College London.