Several push and pull factors encourage the population of the Northern Triangle countries of Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador to leave their countries for the U.S. These factors include violence, poverty, the corruption of these countries’ governments, and the attraction of the American Dream.

Key points:

  • Despite improvements in immigration law enforcement both in Mexico and along the U.S. border, the push factors that drive Central Americans to leave their countries continue to mount.
  • Rampant poverty, crime, and political instability in the region, combined with structural weaknesses in the U.S. asylum system, created a perfect storm.
  • The United States is viewed as a safe haven, where workers can earn more in a day than many Central Americans make in a month.