U.S. Deportation Policy, Family Separation, and Circular Migration



Since the mid-1990s the United States has enacted a series of laws that make it easier to deport noncitizens. Drawing on findings from interviews with a random sample of 300 Salvadoran deportees, we examine how family relations, ties, remittance behavior, and settlement experiences are disrupted by deportation, and how these ties influence future migration intentions. We find that a significant number of deportees were long-term settlers in the United States. Many had established work histories and had formed families of their own. These strong social ties in turn influence the likelihood of repeat migration to the United States.