The Tired and the Poor

Among the many issues the world is facing in 2020, poverty is one that has taken a backseat. However, it is an issue that lays the foundation for many of the other problems our world is facing. Sadly, poverty levels in different countries of the world have continued to increase from 2014 to 2020. Some countries are more severely affected than others. Mexico and Central and South America are hard hit areas. 

Why should this matter to Americans? We have homeless people who suffer every day. We should just focus on our own people, right? 

Wrong. The poverty issue in these Latin countries is greatly impacting America. Poverty-stricken families in these places who do not have proper housing, clean water, food, or medical attention are doing whatever they can to keep their families alive. Sometimes this includes immigrating elsewhere and the United States is where many of them attempt to find help. Their arrival at our borders adds to the illegal immigration debate that is constantly waging in America. 

It’s important to understand what poverty looks like in these countries. Central America, for instance, has seven independent countries and is the poorest of the Latin regions. The overall population of Central America is 44.53 million. Approximately 3.5 million of these people illegally migrated to the US. Likewise, in South America, the overall population is 418.7 million and 6 percent of the population illegally migrated to the US. These people immigrate because they don’t feel there is another option for them. They are generally living in rural areas working in agriculture for very little money. They often stop going to school at young ages to support their families and so the cycle of poverty continues. There are also corrupt governments in many of these regions and drug traffickers who rule without any consequences. 

It’s easy to say that this isn’t our problem and that their governments should fix the issues. The people who are fleeing cannot wait that long. They are dying. They are watching their children die. So, they put all their faith in America just to be hated, deported, imprisoned, and separated from their families.

At some point America needs to figure out the best way to help these people. We need to fix our immigration policies so they are more manageable. Many of these people would be contributing citizens to our economy if given a chance. I thought we accepted “the tired and the poor”? 



Borgen, Clint. “Crime and Punishment: Causes of Poverty in Central America.” The Borgen Project, Clint Borgen Https://, 18 Dec. 2019,

Nag, Oishimaya Sen. “The Poorest Countries In South America.” WorldAtlas, WorldAtlas, 22 Oct. 2019,

“Nicaragua Population (LIVE).” Worldometer,

“Poorest Countries in Central America.”,