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Leveraging Foreign Aid to Central America to Fix the Border Crisis

Crisis-level flows of Central American migrants to the U.S. are raising questions about the effectiveness of foreign assistance to the region with the State Department reportedly suspending foreign aid payments from the past two fiscal years to El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras.

The facts and numbers clearly demonstrate that there is an emergency at the southern border.

In February, border officials apprehended a record 76,103 people, the highest number ever over the last five years. Human smugglers have learned to use children to exploit U.S. immigration law. Of the February apprehensions, 47 percent (or 40,325) were family units with children. This represents a 67 percent increase from January.

These numbers follow a consistent pattern—the 2019 monthly apprehension numbers far exceed the respective 2018 numbers.

As a result, U.S. immigration courts are backlogged. The average wait time for a hearing is now 736 days, up from 718 days in 2018. For perspective, just 10 years ago the average waiting time was 364 days.

Contributing to this is this new phenomenon of large-scale caravans, orchestrated by activists groups. During my field research, caravan organizers like Pueblo Sin Fronteras told me they would act as intermediaries between the caravans and local governments, essentially coercing them and civil society groups into providing resources to the migrants. This has become a significant financial burden on the Mexican government.

Recent statements from Mexico’s interior minister, Olga Sánchez Cordero, have reinforced these findings. She directly named Pueblo Sin Fronteras as a group that is promoting and organizing these destabilizing caravans.

Read the full story from The Daily Signal

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