US foreign policy drives immigration

06/08/2014 4:06 PM

06/09/2014 5:20 PM

Re "The international crisis of unaccompanied migrant children at U.S. border" (Editorial, June 8): The Editorial Board is on target that we need an international response to the tragedy of children fleeing their homelands in Central America.

The root of the problem will not change, however, until the U.S. changes its foreign policy approach.

U.S. support for violent conservative governments throughout the 20th century led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Central Americans, violently undermining reform attempts and setting the stage for migration and the current social violence in the region.

More recently, U.S. policies undermine Central American efforts to meet their populations' basic needs. In El Salvador, Bush and Obama-backed free trade policies hurt local farmers by only allowing corporate seeds rather than locally produced seeds into the marketplace. In Honduras, the U.S. supports an oligarchy that violently opposes attempts by civil society groups to bring changes that meet the needs of the poor Honduran majority.

-- Michael Ring, Elk Grove

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