December 10, 2018

Report: Impact Of Deportee Reintegration Efforts Is Unclear

Successful reintegration is a key part of a broader goal to cut illegal immigration by improving conditions there.

Northern Triangle An image showing countries in the so-called Northern Triangle, adapted from a Centers for Disease Control map.

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A new report from Congress’s independent watchdog takes a look at U.S. efforts to help deportees resume life in Central American countries known as the Northern Triangle.

The U.S. Agency for International Development has spent $27 million since 2014 to help people deported to Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. Successful reintegration is a key part of a broader goal to cut illegal immigration by improving conditions there.

A new report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office found the way migrants are received when they get home has improved. But the report also found many reintegration programs have just started and their overall effectiveness is still up in the air.

“Reintegration is a piece of a larger puzzle. But it’s an important piece,” said Randy Capps, director of research of U.S. programs for the Migration Policy Institute, a think tank in Washington, D.C. “If you don’t do it, and do it well, then everybody who comes back is going to turn right around and head back to the U.S.”

Economic and safety issues in the Northern Triangle make long-term reintegration for deportees more difficult, Capps said.

Fronteras Desk
This story is from the Fronteras Desk, a collaboration of Southwestern public radio stations, including NPR 89.1. Read more from the Fronteras Desk.
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