Embargo Period


Degree Name

MA in Sustainable Development

First Advisor

Iván Martín


The number of asylum-seekers from African nations and Haiti traveling from their origin countries, through Latin America, and then to the United States is increasing. This capstone explores why Africans and Haitians are choosing to embark on this journey, what the experience is like for the asylum-seekers (including mapping the physical route taken), and what policies have been developed in transit countries, specifically Panama and Mexico, as a response to this phenomenon. To fulfill the objectives of the study, data was collected by conducting semi- structured interviews with 4 individuals who currently work in the field of international migration and 2 asylum-seekers from Africa who completed the migration route of study. Additional data was also collected from secondary sources such as scholarly articles and country reports. Findings indicated that Panama and Mexico have indeed instituted specific migration policies as a result of increased irregular migration through their countries, the route is an extremely long and difficult one for asylum-seekers which involves the use of a variety of different modes of transportation, and often times asylum-seekers suffer from social implications as a result of completing the route. Additional findings concluded that asylum-seekers do not receive proper assistance from NGO’s or local authorities while embarking on the route. It is recommended that in the future researchers and practitioners consider ways to systemically track this phenomenon from a regional and global level as well as measure how well countries are doing at upholding the 2030 Sustainable Development Objectives related to international migration.


African Studies | Immigration Law | Inequality and Stratification | International Humanitarian Law | Latin American Studies | Migration Studies | Other International and Area Studies | Peace and Conflict Studies | Social Work