Understanding the Root Causes of Immigration and Refugees within a Historical Context

This document carefully examines theological underpinnings of entitlement, the history of the Church in colonization, and some aspects of U.S. imperialism in Central America.  It also offers analysis on the interconnectedness of the Sisters of Mercy's Critical Concerns.  It was prepared by Mercy’s Immigrant Advocacy Group as a backgrounder for Sisters of Mercy who were delegates attending the Institute's Chapter meeting in June 2017. 

This PowerPoint summarizes the main ideas found in the paper above, and is formatted in a way that is accessible to larger audiences and could be used as an educational tool.   

U.S. Responsibility and Roadmap for Change, developed by SHARE-El Salvador, pinpoints root causes of migration and strategic tools that can be used to address the role of the US government in shaping those causes.   

Additionally, see a summarizing report from the July 3rd Congressional Briefing entitled Beyond the Border: Root Causes of Central American Migration, with panelists including Jean Stokan, Mercy’s Institute Justice coordinator.   

The Hope Border Institute offers many helpful resources in understanding the factors that shape the need for migration, the deadly consequences of U.S. intervention, and the myths surrounding immigration that are circulated by U.S. media.  Pages 27-32 of the Border Observatory of 2019 offer a general analysis of the root causes for migration.   

From Migrant Caravan to Exodus: Myths, Origins, Implications, also from the Hope Border Institute, offers an in-depth look at the ways the media twisted the coverage of an immigrant caravan, framing it as a threat rather than a struggle for justice emblematic of indigenous social movements in Latin America.