Border Policy: Addressing the Root Causes of Hunger and Immigration

January 9, 2018
We urge Congress to embrace smarter immigration and border enforcement policy. Photo: Jeffrey Austin

We urge Congress to embrace smarter immigration and border enforcement policy.

Bread for the World recognizes immigration to be a hunger issue on both sides of the border. We call on Congress to take a comprehensive approach, one that welcomes the migrant and addresses the underlying causes of undocumented immigration. Not only would this be the moral thing to do but it also makes fiscal sense.

Even though the United States spends more than $11 billion on border enforcement annually, thousands of new undocumented immigrants arrive every year.

This level of spending on border enforcement, including personnel, has had minimal impact on curtailing undocumented immigration and has come at a high economic and human cost. Data from the Department of Homeland Security, for instance, shows that known migrant deaths have nearly doubled over a decade.

We urge Congress to embrace smarter immigration and border enforcement policy. This should include funding for programs that address push factors of migration from Central America; a reasonable pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants; and effective oversight and accountability of border enforcement practices and personnel, in any border enforcement funding bill.

Border patrol funding is nearly 17 times more than aid support for Central America

from our Resource Library

For Education

  • The Nourishing Effect

    Hunger and food insecurity add at least $160 billion a year to U.S. healthcare costs.

  • Mass Incarceration: A Major Cause of Hunger

    Mass incarceration has far-reaching effects in the United States. It poses a significant barrier to ending U.S. hunger and poverty by 2030—a goal the United States adopted in 2015. But the connection is not always obvious.

  • Advancing Nutrition through Food Aid Reform

    The United States has long been a global leader in responding to humanitarian emergencies. Food assistance that includes nutritious food for pregnant women and young children is both a life-and-death matter for individuals and an economic imperative for countries.

For Faith

  • Unity Declaration on Racism and Poverty

    A diverse body of Christian leaders calls on the churches and Congress to focus on the integral connection.

    Dear Members of Congress,

    As the president and Congress are preparing their plans for this year, almost 100 church leaders—from all the families of U.S. Christianity—are...

  • In Times Like These … A Pan-African Christian Devotional for Public Policy Engagement

    This devotional guide invites deepened relationship with and among Pan-Af­rican people and elected leaders in the mission to end hunger and poverty.

  • Sermon by David Beckmann at Duke University Chapel

    Remarks delivered October 1, 2017 at Duke University Chapel in Chapel Hill in North Carolina.

    Thank you for inviting me to preach here at Duke University Chapel. And I especially want to thank the Bread for the World members who have come this morning.

    Bruce Puckett urged...

For Advocacy

  • Grassroots Advocacy Toolkit

    A set of how-to sheets for carrying out advocacy and fact sheets on the current issues Bread for the World is working on.

    For new and current Bread grassroots hunger activists.

    Ideal as a starter toolkit for new Bread activists or as a set of updates for current activists.


  • Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act of 2017

    Unnecessarily long prison sentences, combined with the lack of rehabilitative programs for people in prison, exacerbate hunger, poverty, and existing inequalities.

    Overly harsh mandatory minimum prison sentences have contributed to the rapid increase of our country’s prison population. The...

  • Health Care Is a Hunger Issue

    Learn more about the principles that Bread for the World supports regarding health reform.