E.g., 06/23/2024
E.g., 06/23/2024
South America

South America

With the exodus of more than 5.6 million Venezuelans, South America is experiencing major change in its migration flows and policies. Beyond the immediate migration and humanitarian crisis, the region has experienced more movement in recent years, chiefly for labor reasons, with Brazil the preferred destination for migration from outside the continent.

South American migration beyond the region is chiefly to the United States and Europe. The research offered here sketches the dynamism of South America's migration and refugee trends and policies.

Recent Activity

Flags of South American countries.
Articles
President Joe Biden in Mexico City.
Housing construction site in California.
Articles
Cover image for Lessons from COVID-19
Policy Briefs
March 2024
By  Meghan Benton and Lawrence Huang
Cover image for Converging Crises
Reports
March 2024
By  Luisa Feline Freier, Andrea Kvietok and Leon Lucar Oba
Cover image for Expanding Protection Options?
Reports
January 2024
By  Andrew Selee, Susan Fratzke, Samuel Davidoff-Gore and Luisa Feline Freier
Cover image for Confronting Compassion Fatigue
Reports
January 2024
By  Natalia Banulescu-Bogdan, M. Murat Erdoğan and Lucía Salgado
Un hombre con patatas en Ecuador

Pages

Cover image for Lessons from COVID-19
Policy Briefs
March 2024
By  Meghan Benton and Lawrence Huang
Cover image for Converging Crises
Reports
March 2024
By  Luisa Feline Freier, Andrea Kvietok and Leon Lucar Oba
Cover image for Expanding Protection Options?
Reports
January 2024
By  Andrew Selee, Susan Fratzke, Samuel Davidoff-Gore and Luisa Feline Freier
Cover image for Confronting Compassion Fatigue
Reports
January 2024
By  Natalia Banulescu-Bogdan, M. Murat Erdoğan and Lucía Salgado
Cover image for A Winding Path to Integration...
Reports
October 2023
By  Diego Chaves-González and Natalia Delgado

Pages

Flags of South American countries.

The South American immigrant population in the United States has grown at a faster rate than that of the overall foreign-born population, amid crises in Venezuela, Colombia, and elsewhere. Yet South Americans still account for only about one in ten U.S. immigrants. While they mirror the overall U.S. immigrant population in several demographic characteristics, there are some notable differences, as this article details.

President Joe Biden in Mexico City.

The U.S. immigration enforcement system increasingly depends on other countries to help halt irregular movements through the Americas and accept the return of unauthorized migrants. Foreign governments play a crucial and yet underappreciated role in migration management, and can either aid or frustrate U.S. border-control aims, as this article explores.

Housing construction site in California.

One-fifth of the planet lacks adequate housing. That scarcity, expected to affect 3 billion people by 2030, is a problem for native-born and immigrant communities alike. The global housing shortage can aggravate tensions over immigration and lead to integration challenges for new arrivals, as this article details.

A man with potatoes in Ecuador

Ecuador has emerged as a significant destination for Venezuelan migrants, and is also a sizable origin for people heading to the United States and Spain. The Andean nation has found itself enmeshed in the Americas' evolving mobility trends and has responded with a mix of policies that have produced some unforeseen outcomes. This country profile evaluates recent trends and puts them in historical context.

Un hombre con patatas en Ecuador

Ecuador se ha convertido en un destino importante para los migrantes sudamericanos, un país de tránsito para quienes se dirigen al norte y una fuente renovada de emigración. El pequeño país andino se ha visto enredado en las tendencias cambiantes de movilidad de la región y ha respondido a las circunstancias cambiantes con una combinación de políticas que ha producido algunos resultados imprevistos.

Pages

Expert Q&A, Audio
July 12, 2023

Climate migration sounds simple. It is not. MPI’s Lawrence Huang answers some of the most common questions around one of the least understood dynamics in human movement.

Expert Q&A, Audio
November 17, 2022

Guyana is a small country in South America that will be greatly transformed by the recent discovery of massive offshore oil reserves. This episode of Changing Climate, Changing Migration discusses how the world’s fastest growing economy is confronting environmental change, particularly with economic growth and proximity to troubled Venezuela likely to drive significant immigration.

Picture of female Venezuelan migrant in Colombia, leaning over balcony railing
Video
June 7, 2022

The presidents of Colombia and Ecuador speak at this high-level event held on the sidelines of the Ninth Summit of the Americas, focusing on the critical need for succcessful integration of Venezuelans in the Americas.

World of Migration episode 7 tile
Expert Q&A, Audio
November 24, 2021

With migration a dynamic phenomenon in the Americas, the U.S. government increasingly is realizing that migration management should be viewed in a regional context. This requires a new set of policies and ways of engagement with countries in North and Central America, and beyond, as MPI President Andrew Selee discusses with colleague Andrea Tanco in this episode of our World of Migration podcast.

Video
October 14, 2021

In this webinar, speakers examine issues of integration and social cohesion in Colombia, and explore how the international community can support Colombia and other countries receiving significant numbers of Venezuelan migrants and refugees. They also discuss Colombian initiatives that seek to improve the situation for migrants as well as the host communities where they reside.

Pages

Recent Activity

Articles

The South American immigrant population in the United States has grown at a faster rate than that of the overall foreign-born population, amid crises in Venezuela, Colombia, and elsewhere. Yet South Americans still account for only about one in ten U.S. immigrants. While they mirror the overall U.S. immigrant population in several demographic characteristics, there are some notable differences, as this article details.

Articles

The U.S. immigration enforcement system increasingly depends on other countries to help halt irregular movements through the Americas and accept the return of unauthorized migrants. Foreign governments play a crucial and yet underappreciated role in migration management, and can either aid or frustrate U.S. border-control aims, as this article explores.

Articles

One-fifth of the planet lacks adequate housing. That scarcity, expected to affect 3 billion people by 2030, is a problem for native-born and immigrant communities alike. The global housing shortage can aggravate tensions over immigration and lead to integration challenges for new arrivals, as this article details.

Policy Briefs
March 2024

The COVID-19 pandemic both shocked the global mobility system and reaffirmed the centrality and resiliency of human mobility. Four years on, public and political attention to COVID-19’s unprecedented consequences for cross-border movement has waned. Yet if countries are to manage mobility more effectively in future public-health crises, this is an important moment for reflection and learning, as this issue brief explores.

Reports
March 2024

The COVID-19 pandemic hit South American nations at a time when many were already contending with major migration challenges. Historic levels of intraregional migration and displacement, notably from Venezuela, collided with countries’ attempts to stop the spread of a new threat to public health. This report examines the region’s responses to the public-health crisis, and the immediate and lasting impacts on cross-border movement.

Reports
January 2024

The massive and rapid displacement of Syrians, Venezuelans, and Ukrainians presented neighboring countries with an impossible task: providing legal status and assistance, even though their asylum systems lacked the capacity to handle such a large influx. This report examines the costs and benefits of the flexible approaches taken to providing status in these three cases, identifying lessons for future crises.

Reports
January 2024

Large-scale displacement can trigger instability and feelings of threat in refugee host countries. But in certain cases, it can also uncover deep wells of solidarity that create space for generous policy responses. This report explores factors that can foster and erode public support for forced migrants, drawing examples from attitudes towards Syrians in Turkey, Venezuelans in Colombia, and Ukrainians in Europe.

Articles

Ecuador se ha convertido en un destino importante para los migrantes sudamericanos, un país de tránsito para quienes se dirigen al norte y una fuente renovada de emigración. El pequeño país andino se ha visto enredado en las tendencias cambiantes de movilidad de la región y ha respondido a las circunstancias cambiantes con una combinación de políticas que ha producido algunos resultados imprevistos.

Pages