US pledges $10.6 billion in aid for Central America and Mexico
The U.S. will give Central American countries and Mexico more than $10.6 billion in development aid as part of an effort with the Mexican government to combat illegal immigration and the refugee problem.
The joint announcement by the State Department and the Mexican government comes as Congress and the president are embroiled in a budget battle over funding for a border wall.
The U.S. Overseas Private Investment Corporation "is prepared to invest and mobilize $2 billion in additional funds for projects in southern Mexico that are viable and attract private sector investment," according to the statement. "This amount is in addition to the $2.8 billion in projects for Mexico through OPIC's current investment pipeline."
Ebrard said "The commitments established here signify more than doubling foreign investment in southern Mexico starting in 2019."
The problems of illegal immigration and refugees will not be solved solely by pouring money in the region or by enhanced border security. Neither will those problems be solved by Mexico or the U.S. alone, or any other individual Central American country.
This is a regional problem demanding a comprehensive regional response. The Democrats and the media are downplaying the idea that this is a "crisis," but Donald Trump is correct in assessing the situation as one. Our border has been in crisis for decades, and precious few presidents and politicians in Congress have been willing to address it.
Give Trump credit for a far more intelligent response to the crisis than either Presidents Bush and Obama.
Fortunately, most of the money earmarked for Mexico and Central American will be private development funds administered by the Overseas Private Investment Corporation. But regardless of whether the money is from public or private sources, the same problem in spreading it around persists: corrupt, greedy politicians and bureaucrats stealing money for themselves and their cronies.
The Overseas Private Investment Corporation has rules and checks to make sure the money is well spent. It's hard to say how successful they can be in preventing graft. Nor is it possible to say that investments made with the money will be wise and well spent. In the end, it's a crap shoot as to whether that money will do much good.
Billions for investment and nothing for a border wall? Politics aside, the wall won't prevent refugees from continuing to stream toward our southern border. Keeping them home in the first place should be one of our priorities. It would be better for us, better for them, and better for the region if they didn't feel the need to escape the conditions that bring them to our doorstep in the first place.