Bread March-April 2013 - Page 2

from page 1 Laura Elizabeth Pohl/Bread for the World immigration Santiago Cruz is a farmer in San Miguel Huatla, Oaxaca, Mexico, who worked in Canadian agricultural fields to help support his family. He is now back at home and able to support his family with the help of CEDICAM, an organization that teaches sustainable agriculture and health and nutrition to its members. Cruz is featured in the awardwinning video Stay by Bread for the World’s Multimedia Manager Laura Elizabeth Pohl. You can watch it at www.bread.org/immigration. through theological, congregational, and pastoral perspectives. Consequently, we turn to our faith-rooted ethics regarding the hungry and impoverished sojourners in our midst: When a stranger sojourns with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong. You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt. —Leviticus 19:33-34 This year will see the best prospects for major immigration reform since 2007. It is almost certain that major immigration reform legislation will be developed during the first half of 2013. After three years of study, Bread for the World will contribute to the national immigration reform discussion by emphasizing that poverty and hunger are major causes of immigration. This perspective is missing in the current immigration debate and is crucial if we are to achieve broad reform. Latin America is the source of more than 80 percent of unauthorized migration to the United States. With visa wait times exceeding 23 years, many immigrants feel they have no choice but to enter the United States illegally to create a better life for their families. Therefore, our national discussion about immigration must include reforming our development policies to eliminate the underlying issues of poverty and lack of economic opportunities abroad—which would be much more effective than increasing border security and tightening laws. According to Wayne Cornelius, emeritus director of the 2 Bread | March-April 2013 Center for Comparative Immigration Studies, increased funding for border enforcement cannot, alone, curb unauthorized immigration. If fact, while U.S. spending on enforcement has increased from $1 billion in 1990 to almost 18 billion in 2012, it hasn’t stopped the number of unauthorized immigrants to the United States from rising by 9 million over the same period. In spite of the economic need, U.S. policy in those migrant-sending countries is aimed at increasing security rather than reducing poverty. In 2009, for example, 96 percent of U.S. assistance to Mexico went to the military and police, while just 0.1 percent was used on job-creation projects that would ultimately reduce poverty. Bu