WASHINGTON, DC—Representative Eliot L. Engel, the leading Democrat on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, today made the following statement on a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report he commissioned on U.S. programs to address the root causes of migration from Central America to the United States:
“The GAO report released today makes it clear that Congress will get lots of bang for our buck by fully funding President Obama’s $1.1 billion request to address the root causes of migration from Central America to the United States. The report confirms that USAID and the State Department have successfully adjusted their programs to target funding towards communities from which the highest number of children are migrating to the United States. Congress must invest in long-term solutions focused on economic development and opportunity for younger populations, so that no child is forced to make the perilous journey from Central America through Mexico to our southern border.
“The report also points out some of the shortcomings in our current efforts. Of particular note, while I am pleased that the State Department and the Department of Homeland Security have put in place public information campaigns to educate families about the dangers of the journey north, I am disappointed that no effort has been made to evaluate these programs. Without any kind of evaluation, it will remain unclear whether these programs are effective.”
A bipartisan group of House members joined Rep. Engel in requesting the report.