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Project January 13, 2020

Extra-Continental Migration: The Longest Journey to America


This is the story of the exceptional journey of extra-continental migrants—from places as far and disparate as Cameroon, Iran, and Bangladesh—on one of the most circuitous routes to reach the United States via South and Central America.

Their routes converge in one of the most hostile and isolated tracts of land on the globe: a swath of thick jungle known as the Darien Gap that links Colombia to Panama. As other migration routes become more difficult, the Darien Gap is now at the nexus of an offshoot of a global migration crisis. As extra-continental migrants join the Central American migration flow and push north into Mexico, they come up against the effects of American immigration policy rippling southward.