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Wilson Center's Mexico Institute Receives Walmart Foundation Grant for Work to Strengthen Protections for Migrant Workers in North American Agriculture


Contact: Ryan McKenna

Phone: (202) 691-4217


WASHINGTON–March 6, 2023.  The Wilson Center is honored to receive a two-year, $1.7 million grant from the Walmart Foundation to commence work on a multi-stakeholder research and awareness project titled, "Agriculture in North America–From Knowledge to Action."

Building on six years of prior work which assessed agricultural labor conditions in Mexico and the United States, this new investment will allow the Wilson Center and its partners in the United States and Mexico to develop a series of evidence-based policy recommendations to improve labor recruitment and employment conditions for farm workers in North American agriculture.

In Mexico, this work will focus on implementation and enforcement of Mexico's new labor laws intended to eliminate abusive labor practices and to provide access to the social services—housing, healthcare, education—to which workers enrolled in Mexico’s Social Security Institute (IMSS) sector are entitled. In the United States, the project will focus on immigration reform to strengthen protections for temporary migrants seeking work in US agriculture.

The work will begin by creating a multi-stakeholder task force that will conduct outreach to farm workers, growers, large purchasers, migrant rights organizations, labor contractors, and public sector representatives in both countries to ensure that recommendations are workable. 

“Through its research and its globally-recognized convening power, the Wilson Center is ideally suited to advance the critical policy discussions facing our region,” said Gavin Bailey, Senior Manager at the Walmart Foundation.  

“Agriculture is one of the great success stories of North American economic integration," said Wilson Center President and CEO Ambassador Mark Green, "and ensuring that workers are treated fairly and equitably and given opportunities to do honest work where it is needed, is key to ensuring continued access to fruits and vegetables across the region. We are honored by the faith and trust the Walmart Foundation has placed in us to carry out this important work, in keeping with the Wilson Center's tradition and purpose, to promote independent research, open dialogue, and actionable ideas.”

Related Program

Mexico Institute

The Mexico Institute seeks to improve understanding, communication, and cooperation between Mexico and the United States by promoting original research, encouraging public discussion, and proposing policy options for enhancing the bilateral relationship. A binational Advisory Board, chaired by Luis Téllez and Earl Anthony Wayne, oversees the work of the Mexico Institute.   Read more