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The Chairman's Blog
What's the Message to 46 Million Latin Americans?
The Chairman's Blog

What's the Message to 46 Million Latin Americans?

During the 2022 fiscal year, the U.S. Border Patrol apprehended nearly 2.4 million migrants who crossed the U.S.-Mexico border illegally -- shattering the previous year’s record high.

Migrants from Mexico and the Northern Triangle -- El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala -- accounted for more than half of all apprehensions. But the latest surge in migrants has come from other Latin American countries such as Venezuela, Haiti, Cuba and Nicaragua.

The question U.S. leaders should be able to answer regardless of their politics: How many more people from Latin America could be coming to the southern U.S. border? 

Roughly 466 million adults live in the countries that make up Latin America and the Caribbean. Gallup has interviewed residents in these countries each year for the past 16 years, asking adults if they would like to move to another country permanently if they could.

In 2022, 30% said "yes." This means roughly 140 million Latin Americans would like to move permanently to another country -- if they could.

Gallup then asked where they would like to move.

Of those who want to leave their country permanently, 33% -- or 46 million -- said they want to move to the United States.

Seekers of citizenship or asylum are watching to determine exactly when and how is the best time to make their move.

What exactly is U.S. leadership’s message to them? 

300+ million U.S. citizens are wondering. So are 46 million Latin Americans.


Jim Clifton is Chairman of Gallup.

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