Congress must hold these nations accountable by restricting and conditioning assistance, as well as revisiting terms of several trade agreements or imposing penalties, yes tariffs (on trade, not people), on nations that refuse to take concrete steps to get a handle on migration issues. Truly comprehensive reform must include a foreign policy and national security component that looks beyond border security; without it, it is reform in name only.
We wrote that in April 2014. And, just a few days ago, it was great to learn that Congressman Randy Weber (R-Texas) introduced a bill in Congress that would begin to hold our Central American allies accountable for their fair share of border security matters.
“The Illegal Entry Accountability Act of 2014” would:
Upon enactment of this Act, the Secretary of State shall immediately suspend all United States foreign assistance to the countries of Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador. Such assistance may be reinstated only if Congress determines that Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador have taken sufficient action to mitigate unlawful United States-Mexico border crossings by their respective citizens.
This may be the first time in recent memory that a Member of Congress has sought to seriously condition foreign assistance on a border security matter. It could be a little more comprehensive, however, it is a great first step. They may want to also take a look at Foreign Military Sales, and related programs. Mexico really wants to buy a few U.S.-made military helicopters. Congress can put a legislative “hold” on the sale without a bill.
You can read a few of our prior posts on this issue here, here, and here. A copy of Rep. Weber’s bill is embedded below. Be sure to phone or e-mail your Member of Congress in the House and urge them to co-sponsor Rep. Weber’s legislation.