July 8, 2014

Bread for the World Urges Lawmakers to Look at Forces Driving Unauthorized Migration

Washington, D.C. – Today, President Obama asked Congress for $3.7 billion in emergency funding to address the surge of unaccompanied children crossing the U.S. southern border. Bread for the World urges lawmakers to look closer at push factors of unauthorized migration and ways U.S. policy can address those drivers.

“We appreciate the administration’s focus on this crisis,” said Rev. David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World. “However, we must remember that this is more than just about enforcement. What we are witnessing is people desperately trying to escape conditions of violence, hunger, and poverty.” 

While the majority of this funding request will target border enforcement, up to $295 million will be available to help governments within the region better control their borders, and to address the underlying root causes driving migration, i.e., the economic, social, governance, and security conditions that are contributing to significant increases in migration to the United States.

“Few people are elevating social and economic conditions that compel people to take such dangerous risks by crossing the U.S. border or sending their unaccompanied children in search of a better life,” Beckmann added, “but they are conditions that must be addressed if we are serious about fixing this crisis.” 

In an attempt to challenge misconceptions that children and families can migrate to the United States and stay, the White House announced last month that it would take further action to reduce the surge of families and unaccompanied minors migrating from Central America by opening additional family detention facilities, among other measures. Just last week, President Obama vowed to move forward with executive action on immigration, immediately refocusing resources to strengthen border security.

“With hundreds of thousands more unaccompanied minors expected to cross the border, this is an immediate humanitarian crisis on U.S. soil,” Beckmann added. “Perhaps more than any other immigration-related issue, this situation demonstrates the urgent need for Congress to replace our broken immigration system through legislation that addresses migration push factors.”

Bread for the World urges Congress to pass legislation that supports development-assistance programs, especially those addressing migration push factors, including hunger and poverty. 

from our Resource Library

For Education

  • Election Resources

    One of the best times to raise the issues of hunger and poverty is during election campaigns. Engage candidates in your state/district on hunger and poverty using our elections resources.
  • U.S. Hunger and Poverty State Fact Sheets

    These fact sheets provide a snapshot of hunger and poverty in the United States and in each state plus Washington, D.C. 

  • Conflict and Fragility Are Hunger Issues

     Conflict is a main driver of the recent increase in hunger around the world and of forced migration. Hunger also contributes to conflict. 

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

  • Fact Sheet: Why We Need $200 Million for Global Nutrition Programs

    Bread for the World and its partners are asking Congress to provide $200 million for global nutrition in the fiscal year 2020 budget. 

  • Fact Sheet: Hunger by the Numbers

    In 2017, 11.8 percent of households in the U.S.—40 million people—were food-insecure, meaning that they were unsure at some point during the year about how they would provide for their next meal.

  • 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...


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