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LETTER TO THE EDITOR: New ‘Marshall Plan’ could solve border crisis

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The events in Iraq demonstrate that democracy is on the run in the Middle East. We are learning that without a desire to make the requisite sacrifices, the Bush doctrine of exporting democracy to that region appears to be failing. Meanwhile here at home, President Obama is taking a very different approach with democracy by throwing out the welcome mat to anyone wanting to experience it in America.

As a result, the humanitarian crisis unfolding on our southern border is largely one of the president's making. Thousands of children don't just show up on the border unless they've been led to believe that by doing so they'll get something in return — like amnesty.

After all, when has Central America not been poor, corrupt and violent? The endless stream of refugees now pouring over the border is occurring because of policies coming out of Washington. Lax border enforcement and the carrot of amnesty are responsible for the current crisis on the border while crime, poverty and corruption are secondary.

If the Democrats are truly concerned with the welfare of our southern neighbors, why not consider a new "Marshall Plan" for Central America like the one that rebuilt a war-torn Europe following World War II? Granted, if our southern neighbors stay home they won't be able to vote in American elections, but it just might solve the current crisis, and for less money than we are currently spending on programs related to illegal immigration.

THOMAS M. BEATTIE

Mount Vernon

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