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Engel Statement on Funding for Central America in Omnibus Spending Bill

ENGEL STATEMENT ON FUNDING FOR CENTRAL AMERICA IN OMNIBUS SPENDING BILL

WASHINGTON—Representative Eliot L. Engel, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, today made the following statement regarding the inclusion in the 2016 omnibus appropriations measure of $750 million to address the root causes of child migration from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras:

“The Obama Administration and Congress are ushering in a new era in U.S.-Central America relations with this investment. 

“The number of Central American children arriving at our border is again on the rise.  Some of my colleagues want to respond to this crisis by cracking down on children.  But that’s just not who we are as a country.  Instead, we should show compassion for those arriving while at the same time partnering with our friends in the region to promote economic development and curb violence. 

“Investing in the home communities of these children will help ensure that no child has to make the dangerous journey from Central America through Mexico up to our border, and will also help secure our borders and strengthen our southern neighbors.  Of course, the United States cannot bear the burden alone. The Central American private sector must do its part by investing directly in the most vulnerable communities to create new opportunities, and Central American governments should make sure that their wealthiest citizens are paying their fair share in taxes so that entire societies are invested in lifting up the disadvantaged.

“President Obama and Vice President Biden have proposed a bold, new vision for U.S. policy toward Central America that will help spread prosperity, stability, and security across countries, and will advance our own interests.  I look forward to working with my colleagues to ensure that we continue investing in the subregion in the coming years.”