Editor’s note: We endeavor to bring you the top voices on current events representing a range of perspectives. Below is a column arguing that sending foreign aid to Central American countries could be a factor in addressing the root causes of migration. You can find a counterpoint here, where Federation for American Immigration Reform press secretary Matthew Tragesser argues that foreign aid will not help reduce illegal immigration.
Since 2014 there have been four migration surges at the U.S. southwest border in which hundreds of thousands of Central Americans try to get across. It happened twice under President Obama, in 2014 and 2016, once under President Trump, in 2019, and now under President Biden this year. The fact that this keeps happening, despite the policies that U.S. administrations have tried to implement to deter unauthorized immigration, suggests that a different approach is needed.
When Vice President Kamala Harris went to Guatemala and Mexico this week, she was displaying one element of a new approach: Making sustained investments in development coupled with leverage to address corruption in the region. While it is true that the U.S. government has already funded projects in the region for many years with mixed results, what is