Only about 71,000 Central Americans to the United States came before 1950.
This was a very small number compared to the millions of European immigrants who came during that time. Then the numbers started increasing.
In the 1950s, 45,000 came. In the 1960s, 101,000 came. The numbers have been going up ever since. In 1995 alone, the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service counted 31,814 immigrants from Central America.
“There appears to be nothing between these high-priced cars and the oxcart with its barefoot attendant. There is practically no middle class. Thirty or forty families own nearly everything in the country. They live in almost regal style. The rest of the population has practically nothing.”
-American army officer visiting San Salvador, El Salvador’s capital city, in the 1930s.