In the poor, violent Northern Triangle of El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala, worsening floods, drought and storms are pushing a growing number of migrants north.
Thousands of Central American migrants arrive at the border each month, fleeing both grinding poverty and unchecked gang violence. Increasingly, they’re also escaping a threat they might never mention to immigration agents: climate change. A narrow strip of land flanked by oceans, Central America is one of the world’s most environmentally vulnerable regions. “It’s an area hit by hurricanes on both sides, rocked by volcanic eruptions, drought, earthquakes, and with accelerating climate change, it’s even more vulnerable,” said María Cristina García, a Cornell University professor of American studies who’s writing a book about climate refugees.