Whether you chant “Build the wall!,” support sanctuary cities or lie anywhere in between on the issue of illegal immigration, you have to know that there’s no simple fix or magic bullet that solves most problems, especially one this complicated.

But no matter where you stand on this issue, here’s something we likely can all agree on: If folks are perfectly happy at home — wherever that may be — they probably will not want to leave. They certainly wouldn’t want to embark upon a treacherous journey full of unknowns to sneak into the United States if their home is safe and they enjoy a comfortable life with security and hope for their children.

Time and time again, I’ve seen families move from shacks to decent homes through my work with The Fuller Center for Housing. And I’ve met people like my friend Ana (pictured above), who discovered a world of new opportunities and joy at home after partnering to build a decent house. In fact, my assistant Jessica (who speaks Spanish, while I merely know how to order in a Mexican restaurant) talked with a woman in El Salvador who completely scrapped her plans to sneak into the U.S. after getting a decent home. You can read about it here.

Years ago, Ana was moving from various rented rooms to another, battling crooked landlords and selling school supplies on the streets of Lima, Peru, while trying to raise her three children. On a hope and a prayer, she boarded a bus for La Florida, Peru, where The Fuller Center is building a healthy, thriving  community. Not only did she wind up partnering with us to build a home for her children, but she began working for The Fuller Center and then was elected mayor of the town. Now, she is a government official working nonstop to better the lives of Peruvians. Continue reading