To the editor:

With the United States Border Patrol making an average of 1,107 apprehensions on the South West Border every day, immigration has undoubtedly reached the forefront of many Americans’ minds[1]. After reading an article on The Highland County Press’s website discussing Representative Wenstrup’s recent trip down to the Rio Grande Valley Sector of the border, one quote of Wenstrup’s, in particular, stood out to me:

The emergency border relief-funding bill “is not a replacement for fixing our broken immigration system or securing the border.” [2]

Being that bolstering national security via reducing the number of illegal immigrants entering the United States is a cause that Rep. Wenstrup and many of his constituents are in favor of, it’s important to first look at the issue from two perspectives: push factors and pull factors.

Although it’s true that our nation’s immigration laws have broken down over the last several years, by simply reforming them we may be able to reduce the pull factors that immigrants see in our nation… but the push factors – and the root of the problem – will still persist.

Currently, the Northern Triangle Nations of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras all find themselves listed in the top ten countries with the highest homicide rates – Honduras ranking #1.[3] If we wish to truly find a long-term solution to the issue of immigration, we must not only look narrow-mindedly at how we can minimize our own pull factors, but also at how we can reduce the push factors in Northern Triangle Nations.

In order to make US taxpayer dollars most effective in combatting the issue of immigration, Representative Wenstrup and all those reading should support the United States-Northern Triangle Enhanced Engagement Act. This bill would grant $577 million in foreign assistance to El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala to help promote economic growth and development, anti-corruption and the strengthening of democratic institutions and security conditions.

We've all heard the phrase killing two birds with one stone, and this is a prime example of it. By supporting this bill, not only will we enhance national security for our closest friends and family members, but will also help eradicate conditions that we could never imagine those loved ones in our life living with.

For more information on this bill, please visit these sites:

Congressional summary of bill:

https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/2615/text?q=%7B%22search%22%3A%22H.R.+2615%22%7D

Summary of bill by the Borgen Project:

https://borgenproject.org/wp-content/uploads/Bill-Summary-US-Northern-Triangle-Enhanced-Engagement-Act.pdf

[1] https://www.cbp.gov/newsroom/stats/typical-day-fy2018

[2] https://highlandcountypress.com/Content/In-The-News/In-The-News/Article/Rep-Wenstrup-GOP-doctors-group-visit-border/2/20/51273

[3] https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/murder-rates-by-country.html

Sincerely,
West Gardner