My research explains how United States intervention is central to explaining the violence that has been predominantly driving migrants away from their homelands into the United States today. The state political instability of Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador, a region commonly referred to as the Northern Triangle, has given rise to an unprecedented number of undocumented immigrants and asylum seekers in the United States. My research question asks: how has United States intervention in Central America affected the political instability that is driving the large influx of migrants from the region into the United States? Building on the work of previous scholars, I hypothesize that the Northern Triangle states that have experienced more coercive United States intervention will be states with higher levels of migration. To carry out the analysis, I compile data on immigration and types of U.S. intervention in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. The results do not provide enough support for my hypothesis, but instead demonstrate a significant causal link between civil violence and immigration. At the end, I provide suggestions for future research and conclude that United States intervention in Central America along with elite accomplices in the region, have ensured widespread insecurity and human rights abuses.


Valdez, John

Second Advisor

Corral, Alvaro


Political Science


American Politics


Immigration, United States Intervention, Central America

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



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