New wave of migrants puts US and other countries to the test
By Charles Kennedy,
January 3, 2014
As the world comes to grips with the crisis at the border, other countries are scrambling to deal with tens of thousands of migrants, many fleeing poverty and repression in countries like Pakistan and Bangladesh, many of whom risk death when they try to enter the United States.
On the eve of his inauguration, President Obama said he wanted to move as much as possible of the world’s poor out of poverty and toward prosperity. He announced a package of aid, grants and other assistance for foreign governments and the families and communities living on their borders.
As of mid-November, his administration had allocated $6.5 billion to help displaced people, including more than $1 billion to help Pakistan.
But some critics, including some members of his own party, say he is doing more than is necessary. The administration’s $8.3 billion for assistance on the border, they say, amounts to little more than a Band-Aid for the border crisis and could take the edge off for some of the world’s poorest countries.
“We have to do more to stop the flow of people trying to flee for their lives,” said David L. Ryan, a homeland security expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “The administration is focusing on helping communities in Pakistan and Bangladesh, not on the border security.”
Mr. Ryan said the administration’s first step should be to stop the flow of illegal immigrants at its source, the border, an effort that would have far-reaching effects for the economy. Mr. Obama will meet with families of the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks Wednesday, then travel to California to meet families of victims of the recent California wildfires.
The administration is also moving forward with the border security policy overhaul it announced last month. But even as it rolls out new policies on immigration and