Immigration & Refugees
For too long, the immigration debate has revolved around border walls, deportations and domestic policies that are not only cruel and ineffective but also fail to recognize the root cause of migration.
In Latin America, free trade policies like CAFTA and NAFTA have failed to generate new jobs. At the same time, these policies make small farming obsolete and force people to migrate in search of work.
For example, the influx of subsidized grains from the U.S. to Mexico under NAFTA decimated at least two million farming jobs. Now, every hour Mexico imports $1.5 million worth of food. In that same hour, 30 Mexican farmers migrate to the U.S. looking for work.
Although U.S. economic policies force people to leave their homes in search of work domestic immigration policy treats immigrants as criminals and has entire communities living in fear.
The debate about comprehensive immigration reform must include discussions about the roots of migration and changing U.S. economic policy in Latin America. Therefore, in addition to supporting domestic immigration policy reform, Witness for Peace compels government decision-makers to block new free trade agreements and change the U.S. trade policies that contribute to migration.
Witness for Peace also brings delegates to Mexico and Nicaragua to research and understand the economic policies and corporate practices that drive people north. Local leaders from the U.S. visit sending communities and return to their homes equipped to improve immigrant relations and advocate for humane immigration policies.
Meanwhile, thousands of people have taken action with Witness for Peace’sMigrating Toward Justice campaign, calling for immigration rights and an end to the economic policies that drive migration. Witness for Peace-produced documentaries and campaign materials help delegates and other supporters publicly connect the dots between free trade and forced migration.
Latest Updates on Immigration & Refugees
- March 7 - March 14
“Forty days in the desert” describes Jesus at the start of his ministry and the Christian community during Lent. For me, henceforth, it will also bring to mind migrants who make a dangerous journey through Mexico to the United States. I learned on a tour...read more
by James Hutter, firstname.lastname@example.org(This blog entry is part of a series. Click these links for Part 1, Part 2 & Part 3)Our visit to San Francisco Tetlanohcan had been a powerful experience for many varied reasons. We saw first hand the effects that...read more
by James Hutterjames.email@example.comA View of San Francisco Tetlanohcan, Tlaxcala, MXIt is, admittedly, difficult to imagine. Yet, picture a town with almost no adult or young men around. The streets seem busy, but you would have to struggle to find a single man in...read more
In July of 2013, I was privileged to be included on a Witness for Peace Delegation to Mexico to study the Roots of Migration. I use the word “privilege” with a strong sense of reservation, particularly after now understanding the power behind the term. Throughout the...read more
Spoken word by Hillary Watson (delegate of a WfP delegation in Colombia) about U.S policy with Latin America and the consequent "immigration...read more
Learning to Love Our Neighbors: A Sermon of Solidarity with Mexico | Aprendiendo a Amar a Nuestro Prójimo: Un sermón de solidaridad con México
By Valerie Miller-Coleman Luke 9:51-62 A couple weeks ago, seven of us arrived in southern Mexico, in the state of Oaxaca, to spend some time learning to love our neighbors there. I think of immersion experiences like this as a kind of boot camp for discipleship. We...read more
My experience on a Roots and Realities of Migration delegation to Oaxaca | Mi experiencia en una delegación a Oaxaca acerca de las raíces y las realidades de la migración
by Jessica del Villar I was recently given the opportunity to go on a Roots and Realities of Migration delegation to Oaxaca, Mexico with two organizations called Witness for Peace and Student Action with Farmworkers. The focus of this trip was, as the name implies, to...read more
By Carlin Christy, WFP Mexico and Tony Macias former WFP Mexico Team MemberA new policy move by President Obama and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) could halt the deportation of over 800,000 undocumented youth without providing a pathway to...read more
By Claudia RodriguezWitness for Peace's Mexico-based International TeamThe biggest news coming out of Mexico is the violence as a consequence of the warring drug trafficking organizations and the Mexican government attempting to dismantle them. The number of people...read more
By John Clark PeggWitness for Peace – Upper Midwest BoardAs we enter into the final phase of our Upper Midwest speaker tour, Nancy Garcia from Oaxaca and Moravia de la O from our WFP International Team, spent the past few days in northern Minnesota and Wisconsin. They...read more
By Jess Hunter-BowmanAssociate DirectorWitness for PeaceI have to admit, I am a political junkie. As much as I love a 3,000 word New Yorker piece by Seymour Hersh, a good political cartoon gets me like nothing else.A good political cartoon is pure genius. It takes a...read more
By Amanda TelloWitness for Peace Delegations AssistantEvery year, thousands of migrants risk their lives on a treacherous journey toward el norte, facing violence, extortion, kidnapping and discrimination. However, female migrants face a heightened risk of...read more