A basic assumption in migration studies is that a search for better livelihood conditions is the main cause for migratory movements. Nevertheless, few studies take in-depth research into specific livelihoods and the contexts in which they unfold as their point of departure. Such an approach would focus on the ways in which making a livelihood links up with larger-scale patterns of population movement, the range and variation in mobility that such movements involve, the social institutions, networks and migration industry actors facilitating and sustaining mobile livelihoods, and the shifting physical/environmental and geopolitical contexts in which migration occurs. Over the last decade, migrants have become seen as vital agents of development by international financial institutions, various United Nations organizations and home country governments, who in their efforts to 'capitalize' on migrants' remittances have contributed to establishing the image of the migrant super hero, who through hard work in foreign lands contribute to sustain their families, communities and nations. Nevertheless, the recent international financial crisis and raising anti-immigrant sentiments have led to a criminalization of mobile livelihood strategies and subsequent mass deportations of undocumented migrants. Using Central America and the well-developed local notion of the migrant superhero as point of departure, this working paper asks three critical questions: The first is whether poverty or insecurity best explains contemporary migration flows in the region? The second question takes issue with how remittances play into on the one hand local social security nets, and, on the other hand, increasing national and regional insecurity. The final question concerns the status decline of former migrant heroes who through the act of deportation become 'trash' in the public imagery. This question indicates that resource concepts such as availability, access and quality need to take social status into account.