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North Dakota is to the United States…

… as the U.S. is to Mexico.

Reporting over the past two decades, I’ve seen a lot of different views of Mexican immigration to the United States. I have traveled the length of Mexico, meeting in big cities and small villages families supported by absent fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles. In the U.S., in California, Washington, Texas, Massachusetts and elsewhere, I’ve interviewed hard-working immigrants who’ve come to work in this country in hopes of supporting family and home in Mexico.

As I’ve wandered the epicenter of the Bakken oil boom in McKenzie County, North Dakota, the past ten days, I’ve talked with dozens and dozens of internal migrants, U.S citizens who have left a difficult economy in one state to make money here. Most see their move as a way to support the family and life they left. I have not kept an official tally, but this morning I jotted a list of some of the states that the workers I have met call home. It includes:

Tennessee
Colorado
Idaho
Michigan
Arkansas
California
Alaska
Oregon
Nevada
Maine
New Hampshire
Florida
Washington
Minnesota
Wisconsin
South Dakota
Montana
Wyoming
Oklahoma
Texas
Georgia
Utah
Kansas

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