Do poor immigrants WANT to be here?

This is not a question about immigration, per se, but about people living far away from home. In my travels I’ve met people from all over the world, a good many coming from countries most of us wouldn’t consider to be fantastic places to live. Yet, during my time abroad, whether I talk to a friend from Iran, Congo, the US, or, well, Mexico they all miss home. They miss their families, they miss things that are familiar to them.

Yes, if they’re obviously fairly well off if they’re living in Paris, and the question asks about poor immigrants. Yet, my premise is that *most *people don’t want to leave home (I never seem to stay home for too long).

We in well-to-do countries seem to think oftentimes that everybody wants to come to our country because the conditions are so much better (and I’m not necessarily contradicting that), and we seem to disregard what people leave behind when they leave home.

What am I getting at? Well, I’d be very interested if there are some dopers who spend a substantial amount of time,* whether in their work or some sort of outreach program, with poor immigrants (either in the US or Europe). Do these people who come to work want to stay in this “better” country or do they want to go home? Is it the other way around: do they want to bring their whole family over?

this part, not the debate, just my reason for asking [I ask this, because it’s always seemed to me that when people are willing to risk their life to get out of their country and work, it’s a losing battle to try to stop them. If it is the case that poor, uneducated people don’t want to leave home yet do it anyway, then the way to fight immigration must be by implementing/encouraging programs in their home countries to make conditions better. Yes, I mean that the US should make steps to better conditions in countries like Mexico, for instance. No, I don’t mean going into Mexico and making policy, but (if I understand correctly) there are economic policies the US could adopt that would benifit Americans and better conditions in Mexico.* Moreover, no, I’m not saying there aren’t large, sweeping reforms that should take place in the US regarding immigration, either, to be clear.*]

This debate is about the immigrants themselves on a personal basis, though, not about immigration reform.

*If you don’t spend any time or know someone close who does and has talked about it, please hold off on the comments. I know I can’t tell you to, I’m just asking.

**The Mexico/US situation is just an example.