Urging our nation's leaders to end hunger

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


Photographs by Laura Elizabeth Pohl

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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amazing photos! Thanks

Thank you so much for this! All U.S. citizens and legislators need to see this and to hear the powerful message. Maybe the critical need for comprehensive immigration reform would become clearer to everyone.

Investing in rural Mexico looks like SMART economic policy but, of course, it doesn't create jobs like border enforcement does. I often think "Just imagine what the wages & benefits of one enforcement job could do if used like the CEDICAM program!" Sister Mary Rehmann

if instead of the border fence the goverment would uitelize that money and open employment offices along the border allowing small business employers/farmers to apply for permitted laborers to fill their individual need. all registred with background checks drug tested just like anyone in the states when a person applies for work then the worker would go direcr to the job. there are many many workers in the states that work without health insurance if the foren workers would be willing to work the same way let then. this would make coming to work safer no need to pay a coyote and much safer . thanks for letting me say my suggestion you have my permission to fine tune this idea mary velasquez

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