Central America Immigration Issues
The primary issue facing the US in terms of Hispanic issues is the need for comprehensive immigration reform. In analyzing immigration trends, Central American origin residents increased at rate 14 times higher than Mexican origin residents in the US. See immigration trends based on analysis by the Pew Hispanic Center.
With almost 53 million Hispanic residents in the US, the "chain effect" of immigration is strongest in the communities of the most recent immigrants. Central America's are making up a larger share of Hispanic residents and they have emigrated to the US more recently than Hispanics of other countries in the hemisphere. See US Hispanic population.
As Hispanic populations increase there can be potentially negative effects on US communities. There is the potential for a "tragedy of the commons" effect in public education. See a narrative that presents the case for this type of situation in a Washington DC suburb -- Fairfax County. Also see languages spoken at home for Fairfax County for an idea of the Hispanic immigrant community
Continuing economic hardship in Central America could result in an even greater out migration. A fungus that attacks the leaves of the coffee tree present a problem that could have serious economic impacts in Central America. See information on the coffee rust issue in Central America.
As we move forward, there needs to be a concerted effort to engage local community leaders in the US so that they understand and join a constituency promoting greater public and private investment in Central America.
See my proposal for increasing investment in Central America.
The map below shows the states with the highest populations of Central American origin residents. Detailed maps can be prepaed down to the census tract level to help target an outreach to local leaders and to their representatives in Washington DC. See my proposal for moving forward on this issue.