$72 Million Spent on Guarding the U.S. Border

$72 Million Spent on Guarding the U.S. Border

The US military spent $72 million on sending thousands of troops to the US border. Should those funds have been spent elsewhere?

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Total Votes : 7

Scroll down to see how people across America voted.

The New York Post reports that “the Pentagon will likely spend a total of $210 million on the mission.” The troops are being sent in response to the large migrant caravan heading to the border, but how many migrants are in the caravan? Did the U.S. need to send that many troops?

Most of the migrants are from the Northern Triangle of Central America, which includes Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. According to Vox, 160 Hondurans set forth from the town of San Pedro Sula (known as the “murder capital of the world” for the first half of the decade) on Oct. 12. By Oct. 15, the Associated Press estimated about 1,600 Hondurans had travelled over 75 miles to arrive at the Guatemalan border. The caravan grew to 3,000 migrants by the time they crossed the Mexican-Guatemalan border on Oct. 19. Now, USA Today reports that approximately 7,200 migrants are headed toward the U.S. border.

So, why are all these migrants marching toward the border and leaving their homes behind?

“People are leaving because they are suffering from high levels of violence from gangs and other organized criminal groups. These gangs want to recruit minors, they carry out extortion, kidnapping, sexually abusing girls,” Francesca Fontanini, spokesperson for the UNHCR in the Americas, told Time. “This flow of families from Central America will not stop because if the root causes are still there, these people will keep coming to the U.S. or to other countries.”

Per Vox, people are also leaving because of the extreme poverty in their country. Citizens are unable to support their families on $5 a day. Others are joining the caravan to return to the U.S. after being deported. Linthicum reports that one deported caravan member said, “I miss my PlayStation. I miss Buffalo Wild Wings.”

What was our government’s response? According to Time, Attorney General Jeff Sessions reinforced denying asylum seekers in a ruling that stated, “The mere fact that a country may have problems effectively policing certain crimes or that certain populations are more likely to be victims of crime, cannot itself establish an asylum claim.”

Time reports that the “U.S. courts denied 88 percent of asylum applications from Mexicans between 2012 and 2017, as well as 79 percent of those from El Salvador and 78 percent of those from Honduras. In contrast, only 20 percent of applications from China were denied asylum.”

The migrants know that 5,000 U.S. troops are waiting for them on the border; nonetheless, they continue to march. Andrea Garcia, a Californian immigration lawyer, argues that the U.S. courts need to recognize that criminal gangs are often working with police and politicians in Latin America, so “if someone is on the bad side of the cartel, they have no chance in their home country,” she claims.

The sheer size of the caravan draws attention to just how many innocent people are affected by the corruption in their country. Trump posted a tweet, stating, “Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador were not able to do the job of stopping people from leaving their country and coming illegally to the U.S. We will not begin cutting off, or substantially reducing, the massive foreign aid routinely given to them.” While agencies claim they haven’t received any guidance regarding foreign aid cuts, many Trump administration officials believe that the government needs to invest more in the Northern Triangle to prevent emigration, as stated by Vox. Should the $72 million have been spent on guarding the border, or could the U.S. have spent that money to prevent the caravan another way? Read the full story on the New York Post here.

Here’s how people on the Zip app are weighing in on this all over the country!

The US military spent $72 million on sending thousands of troops to the US border. Should those funds have been spent elsewhere?

12% Yes, bigger things
88% No, necessary
11% Yes, bigger things
89% No, necessary
13% Yes, bigger things
87% No, necessary

Yes, bigger things

No, necessary

$72 Million Spent on Guarding the U.S. Border

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