Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2019

Document Type

Thesis

Type of Thesis

Departmental Honors

Department

International Affairs

First Advisor

Dr. Adrian Shin

Second Advisor

Dr. Doug Snyder

Third Advisor

Dr. Carew Boulding

Abstract

This research seeks to understand migration, by asking the question, what shapes migration patterns in a crisis? To answer this question, the Venezuelan Migration Crisis, a situation emerging in 2014 and continuing to cause large flows of migration throughout Latin America into 2018, is used as a case study. This research presents unique policies and opportunities in Peru and Colombia, showing that migrants and policymakers have a cyclical relationship, which dictates flows of migration. Finding that policy strongly influences the opportunities available in a country, migrants have preferences to move toward countries that have crafted emergency-specific responses. The level to which the policy restricts or does not restrict migration matters less than how adaptive it is to the situation. Patterns of migration can be influenced by policies in this way, as policymakers respond or do not respond directly to the crisis and change the incentives to migrate there. This research compares the collected information about the choices created by policies that migrants have with the physical patterns that can be observed. When comparing these predictions to statistical information from the Venezuelan Migration Crisis, patterns emerge that show migrants’ preference for long-term, crisis specific solutions. The implication of this research is the key understanding that migrants move to where policy opens doors for them.

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