The Thunderbird on-campus newspaper published an interview with Laura Libman, as part of an article on the field study conducted by Tia, CHOICE Humanitarian, and Thunderbird International Development students on the effects of development on cross-border immigration.
The raw data resulting from the study was astounding! Four times the rate of immigration was seen in villages that have no outside non-proft development programs, as opposed to communities receiving sustainable development assistance.
The graduate students surveyed only communities in the same microregion, with nearly parallel population sizes, geography and agriculture. In addition to quantitative data questions on frequency of migration, the students asked qualitative questions too. One of the most telling questions polled what would it take for a family to stop migrating to the U.S. or for those who had already curtailed migration, what made them stop.
The answers revealed that people would continue to migrate as long as necessities such as adequate food, access to health care, and primary education could not be obtained. Those who had stopped migrating said that they had no more need to do so, because with NGO assistance, they were able to produce more food, build a school, and had access to healthcare.