On the Question of Aid to Central America

Frustrated by the constant flow of migrants from Central America, President Trump decides to cut off aid to the region. While I understand the President’s frustration with the seemingly worsening crisis, I believe that tweaking how the aid is used, rather than eliminating it, is in the best interest of the U.S.

There is doubt that the Central American nations receiving U.S. aid to the region—Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador—have not been good stewards of that money. These countries remain among the most gang-infested, violent, and corrupt countries in the world, despite all that aid. Not surprisingly, the migrant caravans are growing in number and size.

All the evidence suggests that these countries are turning a blind eye to the caravans, and are squandering our money…

The president is right to be irate at the inability—or unwillingness—of the leaders of these nations to keep their citizens within their own borders. The billions of dollars are not a huge sum by our standards, but in Central America, they can go a long way if put to the right use.

But the migrants have kept coming, and according to Jeh Johnson, former DHS Secretary, the “number of apprehensions” at the border “exceed anything he encountered during his time serving under former President Barack Obama.”

So, what gives? Unfortunately, all the evidence suggests that these countries are turning a blind eye to the caravans, and are squandering our money.

Even Mexico’s president has only promised to make sure the caravans pass through Mexico in an orderly manner! With neighbors like this, who needs enemies?
No wonder the president has threatened to close the southern border entirely! Does the deeply entrenched corruption and mismanagement of resources—and our aid—in those countries have anything to do with what is going on?

You bet so.

The point here is not to let anger and frustration dictate policy. What is needed is an unapologetic intrusive oversight and monitoring of where that money is going and how it is being spent.

The era of giving money away without accountability should be over. If anybody can make good on this, it is this president.

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