As we see in the news for months now, people from Central America have been walking hundreds of miles to the U.S. border in the desperate attempt to escape the violence in their home countries. Here is just a recent example that I ran across describing the situation in Honduras: Every Monday morning anyone who owns a taxi or bus (buses are privately owned) must pay a “war tax” to the local gangs. In the capital, the owners of these businesses paid about $23 million last year.

Non-payment means death. Since 2010 more than 1,500 Hondurans working in transportation has been murdered. If anyone on a bus route stops paying, gangs kill a driver, any driver, to send a message.

And this is just one example of the type of violence that exists in one small country in Central America. So no wonder people will risk anything to get out.

But how is our president responding? Mr. Trump has threatened to cut off aid to these countries if they do not stop their people from leaving. Aid which is crucial to these governments who are attempting to deal with the gangs with the little resources they have. Gangs, by the way, who make most of their money from selling illegal drugs in the United States.

The whole situation is a complex mess, but perhaps if we can see why so many people are so desperate to leave their countries, we can come up with a more rational and human solution than just building a wall.

DAVID ANDERSON

Meadville

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