MIAMI — One solution to the illegal immigration crisis griping the nation’s southern border may be as simple as stopping U.S. aid to Central American governments.
“It’s cheaper to take care of them in their own country instead on the other side of the boarder, on the U.S. side, because they become a burden on social services, which is more expensive to handle in the U.S. than in their own country,” said Florida resident Penny Rambacher, who, along with her late mother, Noreen, opened 48 schools in less than 10 years in some of the poorest areas of Guatemala.
Rambacher’s Miracles in Action organization works to help the poor through “education, vocation and sustainable projects.”
“Instead of building walls to prevent them to coming to the U.S., we provide them with opportunities in their own country. Instead of coming to the border, they come to school,” Rambacher said.
But still, thousands of unaccompanied minors have flooded the southern border since October, with as many as 90,000 expected by the end of the year. President Obama wants $3.7 billion to deal with the crisis, with $300 million slated to go directly to foreign governments.
In 2012, USAID gave Guatemalans $5.1 million for basic education. Together with its corporate partnerships, USAID plans to spend more than $10 million on education, health and nutrition in Guatemala.
But is all that American money flowing into Central America really doing any good?
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