October 23, 2018
WASHINGTON – As the debate continues over how to respond to the migrant caravan in Mexico, the USGLC’s President and CEO Liz Schrayer issued the following statement:
American aid to the Northern Triangle is not “massive” and in fact makes up just 0.00035% of the entire federal budget. Instead of scaling back critical aid programs, we should be scaling up an accountable partnership with El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras to confront the root causes driving violence and despair, similar to the return on investment that Plan Colombia achieved over the last two decades.
With bipartisan pushback quickly emerging from Capitol Hill, it’s clear that cuts to these vital programs – that directly engage youth, reduce violence and poverty, and strengthen law enforcement – could cause huge setbacks. As Senator Marco Rubio just said, “Our aid to Honduras and Guatemala isn’t charity. It helps us more than them… it’s border security because it helps fight the gangs that are terrorizing the people who ultimately wind up on our border.“
Over the years, policymakers from both sides of the aisle have called for deepening our investment in the Southern hemisphere, yet funding has decreased year-by-year. Last year, then-Homeland Security Secretary and former SOUTHCOM Commander, General John Kelly, was right when he said, “If we can improve the conditions of Hondurans, Guatemalans, Central Americans, we can do an awful lot to protect the southwest border.”
The U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (www.usglc.org) is a broad-based influential network of 500 businesses and NGOs; national security and foreign policy experts; and business, faith-based, academic, military, and community leaders in all 50 states who support strategic investments to elevate development and diplomacy alongside defense in order to build a better, safer world.