Agricultural producers in the lower Mississippi Delta region have long invested a great deal of time and energy into their work. This region has also been a target for special interest groups, fringe environmentalists, and the federal government. Over the years, the swamps of Louisiana and the fertile lowlands of the lower Mississippi Delta have attracted immigrants from all over the world. In recent decades, immigration patterns have shifted yet again.
The largest number of immigrants now come from Mexico, the Philippines, Korea, the Dominican Republic, and Jamaica. Cities and river towns that were once heavily reliant on agriculture are now adapting to changing economies that rely on commercial enterprise and industry. As a result, these areas are absorbing newcomers from all different racial and ethnic backgrounds. Evan reports for a Missouri News Network project funded by the Stanton Foundation that explores how political decisions have impacted Missouri residents.
This project has revealed that while traditional racially based politics and governance have hindered progress in the lower Mississippi River Delta, New Deal social engineering initiatives such as the Resettlement Administration (RA) and Agricultural Security Administration (FSA) have helped to establish agrarian communities in Mississippi, Arkansas, and the Missouri Bootheel. These communities have been provided with public housing, access to health care, and stores.