US needs to ‘connect’ with Central Americans on immigration debate

Researchers say gaining trust and listening to grassroots communities is key to influencing the overseas migration debate

El Paso, Texas (border notification) – Not just Americans Opinions are divided over irregular immigrationsuggests a new study.

People in Central America’s Northern Triangle have mixed feelings not only about third-country immigrants passing through their communities, but also about their compatriots who have been deported from the United States.

Understanding the narrative drivers and triggers that bring communities with the same basic core values ​​to different conclusions can be a useful tool for governments like the United States to fine-tune immigration policies. a group of researchers said Wednesday.

Such governments should also consider fine-tuning their messages. That’s because would-be immigrants are more likely to take the word of people they know than locals or even high-ranking U.S. government officials.

Natalia Vanulescu Bogdan said: “You can tell people that the borders are closed as much as you want, but if you get a message on WhatsApp that someone has passed through, that message can be unreliable. there is,” he said.she is one of the authors of the new book “Immigration Stories in Northern Central America” The report was co-sponsored by the RAND Corporation, the Metropolitan Group, the Immigration Policy Institute, and the National Immigration Forum.

Smugglers have long used this Familiarity and immediacy To persuade people to trust the journey north.

In a Zoom call about the report on Wednesday, the researchers said the trust issue means governments are wise to include grassroots communities in their migration management policies and social development investment plans. For example, one of the cornerstones of the Biden-Harris administration’s immigration control plan includes: Encourage investment in Central America.

“To build trust in Central America, where trust has been a longstanding challenge, programs that can be designed with community input are most likely to succeed. The approach doesn’t often create something more impactful for the community,” said Ariel Ruiz Soto, policy analyst at MPI and lead author of the report.

On Wednesday’s Zoom call, panelists discuss the dynamics that shape migration narratives in the Northern Triangle. (border notification)

Some of the key findings of research on immigration suggest:

  • There is a disconnect between how the government views immigrants and how immigrants themselves view them.

  • Moral desires such as personal pride, dignity, loyalty, and self-sacrifice are evoked by those who justify remaining in distressed communities as much as those who decide to migrate, including the United States.

  • Government claims touting legal avenues for immigration are not feasible for most would-be immigrants. “Compared to the demand for jobs abroad, the number of visas available is still negligible…”

  • Fear, prejudice and perceived threats to immigration are not confined to one country. Returnees to El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras pose the same narratives of threat to security, public health and even culture that in other contexts are usually associated with foreigners and other groups.

“Any large-scale movement (of people) creates a justifiable amount of anxiety that is considered normal. It is important not to cover all concerns about immigration with the term xenophobic,” said Banurescu-Bogdan. Told. “We find that many of the horror stories that apply to other countries (citizens) as threats and resource depletion also apply to returnees.

Ruiz added that the Venezuelan slip-through has sparked mixed reactions in Central American countries, where people are accustomed to leaving, not necessarily coming in. “In many of these cases, it’s normal for the (Central American) people to be in a difficult position at first.” But as this becomes the norm, perceptions of xenophobia are likely to change,” he said.

The researchers asked policy makers how different stakeholders perceive the migration narrative, how policies may not succeed if communities are misunderstood, and how migration is framed. It encourages people to recognize that some factors may influence the results.

“Political pressure to curb irregular immigration, especially during elections, allows migrants to serve as a unique source of stable livelihoods in a region of pervasive political, economic, social and environmental uncertainty. They may not have considered their life-changing role,” the paper said. the researchers said. But when immigrants lose the American dream and are forced to return home, “the political rhetoric of capitalizing on the benefits of immigration may not align with the challenges immigrants face.”

https://www.wkrg.com/border-report-tour/u-s-must-connect-with-central-americans-on-migration-debate/ US needs to ‘connect’ with Central Americans on immigration debate

Show More
Back to top button