Washington, D.C. – Bread for the World urges lawmakers to address push factors of undocumented migration to the United States over border security in light of President Obama’s promise to move forward with executive action on immigration reform yesterday. The president vowed to immediately refocus resources to strengthen border security, despite an unyielding Congress.
“While we are encouraged by President Obama’s boldness with regards to our country’s immigration crisis, this issue is bigger than law enforcement and protecting the U.S. border,” said Rev. David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World. “Congress must take action on this important issue.”
Tens of thousands of unaccompanied children have crossed the border into the United States—and continue to do so every day—to escape extreme hunger, poverty, and violence in their home countries. Faced with impossible circumstances, their parents are making decisions no parent should have to make—to send their children alone to a foreign land in hopes of a better future.
“Increased law enforcement at the U.S. border will mean nothing so long as people face devastating circumstances at home,” Beckmann added. “If we are to achieve lasting, promising change on immigration, Congress must pass legislation that addresses the root causes of undocumented migration.”
Bread for the World urges Congress to pass legislation that supports development-assistance programs, especially those addressing migration push factors, including hunger and poverty. Supporting successful development strategies in Latin American countries can help not only to reduce hunger and poverty, but also the likelihood of parents sending their children to migrate alone to the United States.