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Linking Migration and Development in Latin America

111022_chiapasmexico
Marvin Garcia Salas, a farmer in Chiapas, Mexico, twice migrated to the United States to do farm work before returning home for good. (Photo by Laura Elizabeth Pohl)


Bread for the World and Church World Service released a joint fact sheet today calling for integrating U.S. development assistance work in Latin America with domestic immigration policy reform.

The lion’s share of unauthorized immigration to the United States comes from Latin America. And according to the World Bank, “the main motivation for Latin American migration is economic – most people migrate in order to provide better economic conditions for their families.”

But U.S. development policy in Latin America and our domestic immigration policies are not synchronized. As the fact sheet states:

“In order to have a balanced foreign assistance agenda with Mexico and other migrant-sending countries in Latin America, the United States must increase its focus on addressing poverty as one of the causes of migration. These efforts should include poverty reduction and job-creation projects targeted to migrant-sending communities—particularly in rural zones, where poverty is concentrated.”

The analysis for the fact sheet was drawn from a Bread for the World Institute Briefing Paper, “Development and Migration in Rural Mexico.”

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