President Trump has announced plans to cut off $450 million in development and humanitarian aid to Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador to punish the failure of their governments to stop the flow of their citizens toward the US southern border.
Here are the best arguments on both sides of the debate that this move has provoked:
Cutting aid is a terrible idea.
People flee these Central American countries because they want to escape violent crime, poverty and corruption. Their hopelessness makes the dangerous journey seem like a good idea. Cutting aid to these countries will make these problems worse, pushing larger numbers of people toward the US border.
Cutting aid is a smart idea.US aid is not reaching the people who need it the most; the migrant caravans make that clear. In fact, the governments of these three countries, among the world's most corrupt, are stealing the money. Why send more taxpayer dollars to fund corruption in Central America? Maybe by cutting off the aid, Washington can force these governments to do more to help their own people. That might reduce the flow of migrants toward the border.