Positive views of the US
January 19, 2021
The practice of deporting immigrants back to a country where they face increased threats of violence is harming Northern Triangle immigrants.
Remittances From the US by Hudson Fox
Nevertheless, residents of the Northern Triangle generally have a positive view of the U.S. In a 2013 survey conducted by the Pew Research Center, 79% of Salvadorans interviewed said they had a favorable opinion of the U.S., and 64% said that they knew that life in the U.S. was better for people who moved there. These positive views may come from the stories told by immigrants to the U.S., but due to the adversarial nature of the Trump administration, these opinions may have been affected negatively in recent years.
The theme of opportunity is one that is stressed heavily in the motivations behind immigration to the U.S. In the eyes of many immigrants, economic prosperity in the U.S. is an achievable goal.
Most importantly, the economic success of migrants has translated into valuable remittances sent from the U.S. to Northern Triangle countries. The flow of money from the U.S. to the Northern Triangle is substantial: in 2017, Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras were among the top 10 estimated remittance-receiving nations from the U.S., according to a Pew Research Center analysis. U.S. remittances constituted 10.2% of Guatemala’s gross domestic product (GDP), 18.5% of El Salvador’s GDP, and 16.3% of Honduras’ GDP in 2017. In disadvantaged countries where millions live in poverty, receiving monthly or yearly funds from a loved one is not uncommon.
The reality of a significant flow of money from the U.S. to the Northern Triangle likely is the primary cause of these favorable opinions. According to the aforementioned 2013 survey by the Pew Research Center, 67% of Salvadorans have family members or friends in the U.S. Those same respondents reported that 84% of their connections in the U.S. have achieved their dreams.