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Stay: Migration and poverty in rural Mexico
The immigration debate in the United States centers on patrolling the border with Mexico, which is the source of 60 percent of all unauthorized immigration to this country. Nevertheless, the unauthorized immigrant population here has tripled from 3.5 million people in 1990 to more than 11 million in 2010.
Why is that?
Well, border enforcement doesn't get to the root of why people leave their home countries: to escape poverty, to support their families. No border police will keep a determined mother, father, sister, or brother from finding a way to feed their kids, parents, or siblings. Did you know that in 2009, 96 percent of U.S. foreign assistance to Mexico was spent on military and drug enforcement? I was amazed when I first read that in my colleague Andrew Wainer's recent report,"Development and Migration in Rural Mexico." Bread for the World's position is that investing in rural areas of Mexico can help reduce the pressure to migrate.
This video captures the lives of Marvin Garcia Salas, 52, and Santiago Cruz, 48, men who immigrated—separately—to the United States and to Canada. They are now back home in Mexico and able to support themselves and their families with the help of organizations investing time and resources in rural areas of Mexico.
Marvin and his son Jesus
Santiago and his family
Photographs by Maisie Crow (pictures 2-5, 9-13) and Laura Elizabeth Pohl (pictures 1, 6-8)
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