Open Letter to Valley Residents

            One thing I have learned is that most migrants do not come here because they want to.  Their arrival rises out of needing to care for their families at home.  Most of the time there is a pre-existing link between two countries that creates a bridge for migration.  It is usually either economic ties, war ties, or familial ties.  Getting here is a long and difficult task if one wants to enter legally, so most opt for the illegal route out of sheer necessity.  I never realized how difficult U.S. immigration policy and law made it for migrants to come here. 

            There are push-pull factors associated with migration.  The push is usually, surprisingly, made by the government of a migrants home country.  As I learned from my poster project and class materials about the Philippines, Filipinos are encouraged to migrate as medical workers, entertainers, and maids.  This is because the Philippines are heavily reliant on the remittances that these migrant workers send home.  So reliant, that they overlook the basic treatment, protection, and pay that their citizens receive overseas in order to keep the remittance cash flow coming in. 

            There is a pull for migrants because they need to provide for their families.  They also want a better life for themselves.  The man I interviewed (Juan) wanted to come here because he saw how happy his uncles seemed to be with the U.S. in comparison with his life in Mexico, and he wanted to see it for himself.  He ended up staying permanently because of the freedom and opportunities that he found here.

            The biggest of big picture issues that I took from my experience in this class is that there is no seemingly simple solution to the poverty, politics, and turmoil that forces people to leave their home countries.  Corporations contribute, politics (national and global) contribute, war contributes, corrupt governments, and even individuals contribute to the downfall of a country.  I thought I would walk out of this class with a clear and concise understanding of what is causing global migration.  However, I ended up walking out with a very complex understanding of how it works.  There would have to be massive changes made to global interactions, law, and structure to change the corruption that has caused so much upheaval for migrants.  I hope that in my portfolio I have made clear just how complicated migration is.  Thank you for navigating my part of this site!

~Sarah Clinebell



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