The U.S. Congress has just appropriated $4.6 billion to handle the flood of refugees at the southern border. Most of these refugees come from the "northern triangle" of Central America: Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.

The total annual government budget of these three nations (2017, CIA World Factbook) is $21 billion. The total annual U.S. aid to these three nations (2017, USAID) is $556 million. The $4.6 billion appropriation is thus 22% of the total budget of these nations and 8.3 times the U.S. aid to these nations.

Wouldn't it be wise to spend some of this money to eliminate the problems that are forcing these people to leave their homes, rather than spend it to deal with them when they reach our border?

ALAN KORNHAUSER

BLACKSBURG

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