House Republican Calls for ‘Marshall Plan’ to Reduce Illegal Immigration from Central America

Central American migrants walk along the highway near the border with Guatemala as they continue their journey trying to reach the U.S., in Tapachula, Mexico, October 21, 2018. (Ueslei Marcelino/Reuters )

Representative Will Hurd (R., Texas) on Monday called for the Trump administration to develop a “Marshall Plan” for Central American nations to stem the tide of illegal immigration, the Washington Examiner reported.

In 2018 citizens of the “Northern Triangle” countries of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras made up the largest part of illegal immigrants crossing the southern border of the U.S. The Trump administration held up $150 million in aid to those countries in early 2019, as President Trump threatened to cut off funds if the countries didn’t help prevent citizens from leaving for the U.S. border.

Trump signed off on the aid in October after the administration came to agreements with the triangle countries for the prevention of illegal immigration.

“There needs to be a Marshall Plan for the Northern Triangle where we array all government resources — OPEC, USAID, State Department, military, DOJ — against this problem,” Hurd told the Examiner. “This is not just a problem for the U.S. and Mexico. This is a problem for the entire Western Hemisphere, so we need to get the entire Western Hemisphere involved.”

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Hurd represents the 23rd District, which stretches along the U.S.-Mexico border from El Paso to San Antonio. Hurd, a former CIA officer, has been a critic of President Trump, especially regarding Trump’s foreign policy in Ukraine, but the congressman has announced he will not run for reelection in 2020.

“The root causes of the pressures being put on our border and the humanitarian crisis that we have seen in the last couple months is violence, lack of economic opportunity, and extreme poverty in the Northern Triangle,” Hurd said. “We have to address those problems there, and it takes a fraction — it’s a fraction of the cost to solve the problem there before it actually gets to our border.”

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