Investing in grassroots change makers is a better solution to the immigration crisis
I was invited to attend the Global Philanthropy Forum which was a huge honour. I hosted a table talk regarding how the US immigration crisis could be eased through investing in local community organizations in Guatemala.
A lot was learned from peers, grantmakers, and academics regarding the Philanthropy environment in California. This is because it is a key region from which Pionero is seeking donors to support grassroots nonprofits.
Discussions failing to address the root causes of migration
On the second day, I keenly attended a Keynote discussion titled “Taking on Immigration at the border”. Admirable panelists took the stage such as Johnathan Ryan from Raices, and Carolyn Miles from Save the Children. I agreed everyone’s sentiments and that the conditions with which immigrants have to encounter are abhorrent at best.
The discussion however, failed to meaningfully address the root causes of the immigration crisis. It failed to address why people are fleeing the northern triangle in the first place. Surely, addressing the cause rather than treating the symptoms is the wrong way to go about making meaningful change? If the purpose of Philanthropy is to support these communities, the root causes of their suffering must be dealt with. Simply giving a helping hand once the damage is done and families torn apart doesn’t cut it.
Furthermore, in the long run, welcoming more immigrants makes the situation worse in the countries from whence they came.
As Beck demonstrates with his effective demonstration, the 1 million immigrants that the US does accept every year are those that would be the agents for change in their home communities if they had not emigrated,. Every year, balancing births and deaths, there are 80 million more people in poverty. The US could take 5 million extra a year but it will never get ahead of the problem, not in this century.
Local Leaders must have more support
The true heroes are those who could emigrate but instead STAY to apply their skills to support their communities. These are the true champions and unsung heroes that I see and work with day in and day out. These are the courageous community, business and nonprofit leaders who work (usually for peanuts) to support their communities. They do this to lift themselves out of poverty and not have to make the heartbreaking decision to leave their family.
People like Allan Ortiz in the video below from one of our many outstanding nonprofit partners, Caras Alegres. Thanks to Allan and his team, he has helped lift many families such as that of Maria out of poverty (see below video for the full story). It is people like Allan in which Philanthropists need to support for long term sustainable change and improvement in these communities.
Immigration will never be an effective way to deal with suffering of people in the world. 99.9% will never be able to emigrate to rich countries.