Central American migrants travel north through Mexico aboard “La Bestia.”
Photo: Irineo Mujica.


See our articles on Migration


The topic of human migration is a deeply complex one, rooted in the basic historic necessity of people, families and groups to find an adequate place to make a dignified life. Current debates in the United States on immigration reform legislation often constrain the issue to a mere fraction of its breadth, isolating migration as just another issue and branding migrants as just another identity group.

This Area of Focus aims to get beyond rhetoric and study why 200 million people in the world today are on the move. The mainstream debate does not engage the root causes of migration or the systems and structures causing “the forced movement of the poor,” as Mexican priest and human rights leader Alejandro Solalinde defines current human migration patterns.

CUSLAR’s Migration initiative sponsors events and produces study materials to educate ourselves and others about:

  • The history of immigration in the United States, connecting it to today’s realities in the “border state” of New York, where over 40,000 migrants work in agriculture and immigrants account for 43 percent of New York City’s workforce.
  • Past and present immigration policy in the United States, and current anti-immigrant legislation.
  • Economics and immigration: Why do people leave their homes and families? Who is leaving? Who is staying? What are the effects on sending and receiving communities? Who are the winners and losers?
  • Dangers of the migrant route and human rights violations against migrants: who takes advantage of migrants and who defends them?

Some of CUSLAR’s guests related to Migration have been:

Eduardo Lopez Eduardo Lopez EVS Communications
Co-director, Harvest of Empire documentary
September 2013
hernandez Odilia Romero Hernandez
Frente Indigena de Organizaciones Binacionales
April 2012
4 Fr. Alejandro Solalinde
Migrants’ Shelter Hermanos en el Camino
February 2012

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