Senate Democrats on Tuesday unexpectedly challenged the Obama administration’s plan to pour $1 billion into Central America to try to slow the flow of unaccompanied minors and others who enter the United States illegally.
In two hearings on the State Department budget, Democrats as well as Republicans warned that previous administrations have spent billions in the region without substantially reducing its violence or easing its poverty.
“We’ve spent billions of dollars there over two decades,” Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.), ranking member of the Senate Appropriations foreign operations subcommittee, told Secretary of State John F. Kerry. “And we’ve seen conditions get worse in Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador.”
The plan, which would triple U.S. aid to the region, was devised in response to an unprecedented influx last summer of tens of thousands of children and teens who arrived without parents on the Southwest border. Most immediately surrendered to Border ... Read More