The Trump administration would have you believe that the folks that slip over the boarder are murders, rapists and generally bad people. What statistics really show is that, only a vey few meet that criteria, and by percentage, dramatically less then our own citizenry. A very large number are families with children who are looking for a better life and are afraid of the violent gangs in their home countries of El Salvador, Guatemala and Nicaragua, known as the Northern Triangle. A program started under President Obama called the Alliance for Prosperity was designed to improve the economy of the region and thereby slow the migration from those countries into the US. Although well meaning, it lost its initiative once the current administration came into power. In addition, from what I could read into the documents, the plan did not do nearly enough to stem the growth of gangs. Interestingly, a number of gang members got their training participating in California gang activity and returned to their home countries to practice what they learned about gang culture and criminal opportunity, especially in the drug trade. To give one an idea about how bad the countries in question are, USA Today recently noted that the murder rate in El Salvador was 104 per 100,000,the highest in the world. Further, the homicide rate was higher then any country in the world under armed conflict except Syria.
It would seem to me, a multistage approach is desperately needed. It should include a revamp of our immigration laws, a major foreign aid assistance plan, a diplomatic initiative to help stem the governmental corruption and finally a number of battalion’s of US Special Forces or Marines tasked to eliminate or at least dramatically reduce the presence and influence of gangs within those three countries.
I believe we could get more bang for our buck in a head on program designed to stop citizens from feeling the need to leave their home countries by improving their lot, as opposed to paying 70 billion dollars on a silly wall migrants will tunnel under or climb over. Incarcerating them and their children for crossing the boarder only for the purpose of improving their lives and not getting killed by home country gangs is a real tragedy. For a country founded by immigrants, our current way of approaching this issue is an abomination. In addition to improving their lives in their home countries, sending the military in would also take the drug war south as opposed to fighting it the streets of our major cities. For the life of me I do not understand this administration fighting this problem in our country and at our boarder when the real problem is 2500 to 3,000 miles south. We need strong, capable southern neighbors with good economies or we will continue to have unsolvable immigration problem.
Dick Goodson, Oct. 15, 2018