As thousands of migrants flock to the borders along the Mexico, an expert here believed that the problem was created by the U.S. itself, by engineering military and covert operations and also by economic interventions, in the Central American nations over past many decades.
According to Carmen Monico of Elon University, violence and instability in the region instigated by the U.S. has, in fact, led to large scale migrations in the region.
The professor of human service studies, who has conducted an extensive research on the subject, added that the U.S. administration's decision on Tuesday to slash aid to poor countries in Central America is "counterproductive".
She said the foreign assistance could have addressed the root causes of migration, such as violence and poverty.
Earlier in the week, U.S. State Department said no additional foreign aid will be provided for Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador, until they take "concrete actions to reduce the number of illegal migrants coming to the U.S. border."
The State Department added that the U.S. will "reprogram those funds to other priorities", referring to $370 million aid money, which was earmarked for three countries in the 2018 budget.
President Donald Trump has been using the aid card to block the arrival of Hispanic migrants and asylum seekers from Central American countries to the U.S. borders in line with his "America first" agenda.
U.S. thinks that aid cuts will force the governments of those countries, to do their homework and create the political will to tackle the problem at its source.
Violence, civil wars root cause of immigration
Professor Monico, however, said only a sustained human and economic development, along with efforts to combat crime, can only make a difference.
Monico argued that even though the U.S. has spent nearly $16 billion on foreign assistance for Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala since 1946, hundreds of thousands of Central Americans, especially the children and teens are seeking asylum to avoid violence and hunger.
Monico said decades of intense U.S. interventions have laid the groundwork for today's violence and instability across the region.
She cited that Dwight Eisenhower administration's ousting of Guatemala’s democratically elected government in 1954 ushered in a prolonged civil war. She also recalled that early 1980s, the Ronald Reagan administration supported the brutal Guatemalan strongman Jose Efrain Rios Montt, who was later convicted of committing genocide.
Monico further added that Reagan also backed El Salvador’s violent government during a civil war that killed 75,000 people and left the country vulnerable to decades of instability.
"In addition, his administration turned Honduras into a staging ground for the Nicaraguan Contra rebels. The U.S. financed and militarized the country, thus increasing levels of political violence that have never subsided," Monico said.
Monico said her scholarly research in these countries strongly suggests that creating opportunities, putting an end to violence and access to descent education was a perfect recipe to end interest in emigration.