As countries put lock downs in place earlier this year, the number of Central Americans migrating north dropped. From March to April, arrests on the US-Mexico border plummeted from 30,389 to just over 16,000, before gradually ticking up again, according to US Customs and Border Protection data
Ebbs and flows in migration are common, but after a pandemic that's taken the lives of thousands in Latin America
, border experts expect that upward trend to continue as restrictions in Central America are eased.
"We interviewed dozens of government and NGO leaders in Central America and Mexico, and there was a broad consensus that a big migration flow is coming once restrictions on mobility are lifted," said Andrew Selee, president of the Migration Policy Institute, a non-partisan think tank, adding that it's still unclear how, or if, that flow will materialize.