The Economist ran an article on December 16, 2010 called “Field of Tears” which is well worth quoting here because it echos what we hear regularly in the field. The piece opens with Teresa Vega and her family in the aftermath of flooding near her home. Her son becomes ill with dysentery, but the nearest doctor was a few hours away and they had no money to pay him. “They could do nothing, she says. They watched their son die.”
“Ms Vega now says this event is the reason for everything she and her husband have done since.” Their home offered no jobs and she did not want to lose another child. The family headed north for the United States and after being caught three times by la migra, they finally succeeded in crossing the border.
Back in 2006, Laura Libman accompanied a group of Thunderbird School of Global Management‘s graduate students to conduct a study on cross border immigration. The qualitative responses from the villagers interviewed, echo also the words of John Steinbeck’s observance about the Joad family and the other Okies, “How can you frighten a man whose hunger is not only in his own cramped stomach but in the wretched bellies of his children? You can’t scare him—he has known a fear beyond every other.”