The next federal budget will include an example of an increasingly rare bipartisan compromise, with almost $1bn in funding provided to Central America and Mexico to help them to reduce the number of undocumented immigrant minors coming to the United States.
The announcement was made on Wednesday by Representative Henry Cuellar, a Laredo Democrat, who says he collaborated with Fort Worth representative Kay Granger, who is a Republican, to secure $897m. This represents an increase of almost $200m for Central America. The money will be used to help to promote economic development and stability and give would-be immigrants better reasons to stay in their own countries, Cuellar claims, adding that it will also allow over-burdened law enforcement officers on the border between the United States and Mexico some much-needed breathing room.
The Latino native notes that too often policymakers are overly focused on the border crossers rather than the issues causing such exoduses that are festering on the other side of that border. “We continue to play defense on our goal line when it comes to the issue of illegal immigration,” Cuellar says. “I’ve repeatedly said that to stop illegal immigration here at home, we must provide strategic investment abroad.”
The agreement, which was finalized on Tuesday evening, is part of the funding deal for the US government as a whole in the 2016 fiscal year. It still needs to be approved by the Senate, the House of Representatives and President Obama.