Before 1969 there was a steady flow of immigrants from El Salvador. The steps taken by the Honduran government in 1969 to curb this influx were a contributing cause of the "soccer war" with El Salvador during the same year. When the Sandinistas took over in Nicaragua in 1979, former National Guard members began to arrive in Honduras, and by 1983 there were 5,000–10,000 of them along the border. In addition, at least 25,000 Miskito Amerindians from Nicaragua and about 21,000 Salvadorans had fled to Honduras by the end of 1986. Many of them later returned, but by the end of 1992 about 100,000 citizens of Central American nations had taken refuge in Honduras.
As a result of the Central American refugee problem of the 1990s, Honduras has adopted a restrictive policy toward refugees. There were very few refugees among the 44,000 migrants living in Honduras in 2000. In that year the net migration rate was -0.7 migrants per 1,000 population. The government viewed the migration levels as satisfactory.