How does economics play a part in the undocumented immigrants' flight to the U.S.?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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One can make the argument that Nazario's narrative details a condition in which economics is the major reason undocumented immigrants flee to the United States.  Consider the ideas of Maria Isabel's mother, Maria, who argues that if Hondurans could find "jobs that pay okay" many would not leave. It becomes clear that few would wish to endure what the journey entails unless they absolutely had to from an economic point of view.  Nazario's work details how many immigrants only come to the United States because the economic conditions in which they live are incapable of sustaining life for a family.  It has to be economics that play a significant part in the undocumented immigrant flight to the United States.  When one sees the journey that Enrique has to take and the suffering he must endure on it without any guarantees of safety, security, or accomplishment, it becomes evident that economics is the reason why anyone would take such a risk.

Lourdes does not come to America to infiltrate the system or overrun the nation.  She does not come to America to demonstrate the porous conditions of the borders or to test the immigration system.  Rather, she comes because she needs to earn money for her family.  She does what others would not want to do because she knows that she needs to provide for her family's needs. Lourdes only comes to America because of economics.  As her cost of living increases with the boys becoming older, it becomes clear that despite the number of jobs that Lourdes holds, she will be unable to provide for her needs.  She comes to the United States because of an economic need, a reality that is inescapable.  Nazario's work is a strong refutation against the anti- immigrant voices that seem to exert such a role in the immigration debate.  In displaying the economics behind why people like Lourdes and millions of others come to America, one understands that predicament in more lucid terms.

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