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


Tales of Migration and Detention

by James Hutter, 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...

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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...

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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...

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The Drug War and Migration Collide

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...

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Think Globally – Act Locally on Immigration!

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...

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