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Reagan Versus Trump On The Free Movement Of People (Forbes)

May 24, 2018

From the article:

One can find no greater contrast between Ronald Reagan and Donald Trump than on the issue of the free movement of people. Ronald Reagan told the governments of the Soviet Union and East Germany to let their people emigrate, whereas in a recent forum on Long Island, Donald Trump said the U.S. will punish Central American governments that do not prevent their citizens from leaving for the United States.
At an event in Bethpage, New York, on May 23, 2018, Donald Trump said, “So we’re going to work out something where every time somebody comes in from a certain country, we’re going to deduct a rather large amount of money from what we give them in aid – if we give them aid at all, which we may not just give them aid at all.”
Much of the criticism leveled against Trump’s remarks in Long Island focused on the policy wisdom of cutting aid to struggling nations. “Some immigration policy experts argue that the way to prevent migrants from coming to the U.S. is to increase aid to the region to combat poverty and gang violence,” reported the Wall Street Journal.
Michael Clemens, a senior fellow at the Center for Global Development, wrote, “U.S.-supported aid projects in Central America have been shown to reduce the very violence that accelerates irregular migration.” Clemens conducted research on the root causes of child migration from Central America. He examined data on “all 179,000 children apprehended in the United States after migrating, alone and without visas, from El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala from 2011 to 2016.” He found, “Ten additional murders in the region caused six more children to migrate to the United States.”

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Photo of Michael Clemens
Co-Director of Migration, Displacement, and Humanitarian Policy and Senior Fellow