Reviewing the history of immigration from Mexico to the United States, this chapter reveals that immigrants are lured by compelling economic opportunities and higher wages in the United States, and that no means of border enforcement ever undertaken will deter immigrants driven to improve their own lives and especially their families’ futures. Debunking myths of welfare-seeking and criminal undocumented immigrants, this chapter describes the virtue of immigrants, undocumented and documented, who have supplied vital labor in U.S. industries for decades. These labor entries include the wartime Bracero Program, and continue in the era of ramped-up U.S.-Mexico border enforcement that imperils the lives of undocumented border crossers.
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