#1 U.S. should stump up billions to curb Central America migration: Perez by Cincinnatus 15.10.2014 02:07


Oh heck yeah. A couple of billion US taxpayer dollars to Central America. What could go wrong?

"GUATEMALA CITY (Reuters) - The United States should provide billions of dollars to help Central American nations curb the flow of illegal migrants, Guatemalan President Otto Perez said, and his government warns the problem will get worse if Washington fails to help.

Fleeing violence, trying to reach relatives already in the United States or seeking jobs, record numbers of child migrants from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador have been stopped at the southern U.S. border this year, causing widespread alarm.

Last month, the three countries pitched Washington an ambitious development plan to confront the issue.

They want to pump about $10 billion into the region to create jobs and lift living standards, with the bulk of funding coming from the United States, Perez told Reuters.

He hopes the plan could come up with about $2 billion a year from 2015 to 2019, a sum he equated to roughly 10 percent of annual U.S. spending on border security and immigration enforcement

"Now we understand it's not simply a question of the United States saying: 'Right, here's $2 billion a year for five years' for example - the governments of the three countries have to play their part too," the conservative Perez, who took power in early 2012, said in an interview late on Monday.

The package would boost infrastructure and provide more jobs in all three countries, especially in areas that send large numbers of migrants to the United States, he added.

The three Central American governments are urging the United States to shoulder the lion's share of the costs, arguing that U.S. demand for illegal narcotics has fueled violence among drug gangs across much of the impoverished region.

"The United States has to support this, it has no other option," Guatemala's foreign minister, Carlos Morales, told Reuters. "If they don't support it, the crisis will kick off again, you can count on it."


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