• December 5, 2016

Sending aid to Central American countries may be benefit in long run

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Posted: Sunday, August 3, 2014 4:30 am

To the Editor:

I recently read that an anti-sex trafficking law, passed by a then-Democratic Congress and signed by President George W. Bush in 2008, was responsible for the present border crisis.

Perhaps we should also blame him for the murders in Honduras, the drug-related crimes in El Salvador and the poverty and corruption in those countries.

Perhaps he can even share some of the blame for the missile that obliterated a passenger airplane and caused 298 deaths. Enough is enough!

Not long ago, our present commander in chief announced that unaccompanied children who manage to come across the border would not be returned.

In my opinion, those words reverberated through every town and village from Mexico to Central America and resulted in a massive exodus toward the United States. These days, any words from the president can be known worldwide in a matter of minutes.

Increasing the number of border patrol officers may be a very temporary solution, but will not affect the number of children that turn themselves in. (Only the adult illegal immigrants.)

In years past, the U.S. has had some success in obtaining the cooperation of those countries on some critical issues. A new approach may be the key to resolve the immigration problem, especially with the children. These countries are in dire need of aid and it may be the spark needed to initiate cooperation between them and America. The idea might be expensive, but in the long run, beneficial to all. At any rate, the U.S. has spent upwards of a trillion dollars in the Middle East, and recent events indicate that the progress created by our money and blood may have been in vain.

Central America is a lot closer, basically in our neighborhood. Last year 38,000 kids showed up at the border. This year the estimate is 65,000.

It will be very difficult for some states to accept hundreds, even thousands of immigrant children, without creating a financial crisis that will affect their state of affairs and programs. (Even with federal assistance.)

I must admit that desperate situations call for desperate measures and can certainly understand parents so poor they are willing to send children across hundreds of miles, riddled with danger every step of the way, to reach to the USA and a chance for a better life.

The sooner the situation is dealt with, the better for everyone concerned.

retired Master Sgt. P. C. Santiago

Killeen

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