Graham Claims US Could ‘Triple’ Aid to Central America and Not Stop Migrant Crisis, Proposes New Asylum Laws

Lindsey Graham

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) had a simple explanation for why pouring foreign aid into Central America won’t solve the migrant crisis: Life is better in the United States.

The significantly better standard of living in the U.S. is why Graham doesn’t think a simple solution like more foreign aid or a border wall will do enough to stop the influx of migrants into the U.S.

He explained that migrants don’t really care about the laws of the U.S. because they are so flimsy and that dumping more aid into the Northern Triangle of Central America isn’t going to slow them down, either. Graham explained that the bigger problem is that migrants want to get caught because they can use the failing U.S. immigration system to their favor.

Watch Graham’s speech below:

“You could triple [foreign aid to Central America] and not stop this problem. So to those who want to give more money to Central America, it won’t stop the problem. They’re going to keep coming to the United States because life is better here than it is there. No amount of money is going to stop people from coming. No matter how high the wall will be built, no matter how many drones you have, no matter how many agents you put at the border, they’ll keep coming because they want to get caught.”

Graham explained that flawed asylum laws allow migrant families to stay in the U.S. to wait for their asylum hearing — which could be years away — and incentivizes smugglers to use children because they know they won’t be turned away.

The senator noted that smugglers are advertising that unaccompanied minors have a 98 percent chance of staying in the U.S. if the child makes it across the border — and the smugglers aren’t wrong.

As Graham explained and IJR previously reported, most immigration detention facilities are at capacity, forcing Border Patrol agents to release families into the U.S. until their court date — which 87 percent of families never show up to.

Despite the fact that Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) spend their resources to keep these families safe when they arrive in the U.S., they’re still demonized by some Democrats:

“I’m willing to sit down with Democrats to find a way to address the underlying problem in Central America, I’m willing to put other immigration ideas on the table to marry up with this, but what I’m not willing to do is to ignore this problem any longer. If you look at this problem and you think the bad guys are the men and women at [the Department of Homeland Security], the Border Patrol, Labor [Health and Human Services], you’re missing the point. The bad people are the smugglers.”

Graham’s legislative proposal would force asylum seekers to file in their home country, close the loophole that prevents the U.S. from returning unaccompanied minors to Central America, extend the detention period for families from 20 days to 100 days, and add 500 more judges to expedite the legal process.


  1. We have already tried the foreign aid solution – for many years. And Senator Graham said as much. How has the money we have sent them been spent? How much went to their citizens? Or, did all those millions we taxpayers sent them just go into the pockets of their leaders? I, personally, suspect the latter.

    We DO have to eliminate the incentives for them to come. Secretary Ben Carson’s rule to return to the original intent of HUD housing will indeed tell the people to not bother to come because there will be no free housing. Now all residents of a household must be US citizens. No exceptions just because illegals had anchor babies here. Another incentive to soon be eliminated is access to any welfare, called ‘public charge.’ This was created a number of months ago but has not been implemented. See Note that this is implementing existing law.

  2. Asylum. Perhaps the USA should not try to be the “Land of the Free and the Home of the Asylum-Seekers.” Just how many people on this Planet should we allow to reside within the United States simply because they can utter a three syllable word; Asylum? Ten thousand? Ten Million? One Brillion? How many are foreign agents traveling incognito as persons fleeing persecution?

    History illustrates how we within the USA resolved persecution by evicting the British from our land. Twice.

  3. Graham is confused. Not enough AID money is not the problem!

    Corrupt governments, the drug war and gangs, foreign multi-national corporations are much of the problem. These people need counteraction and policy changes more than money. The people need better wages, too, but that is just a start.

    1. So now that you have identified the problems, as you see them, what are your solutions?

      1. Solutions are the hard part that few people are willing to tackle. For example, us stopping other government’s corruption when our own government is so corrupt is not easy. While it is the right thing to attempt, what would be the odds of success when we can’t manage it ourselves?

        The fact that YOU had to ask someone else about solutions is telling.

        1. The FACT you have NO SOLUTIONS is EVEN MORE TELLING.

        2. Just another finger pointer. We ALREADY have billions of them.

          1. You don’t get it. I am not the one elected to solve these issues. Ultimately, I am told by elected officials what to do. But like any grunt, I like to grumble, too.

          2. “You don’t get it.” OH, I get it. I see right through people like you who just want to complain but can’t bring anything else to the table. You are as irritating to me as a boil on my butt.

          3. Nice try. Don’t get that boil lanced just yet.

            Neither you nor Republicans have resolved any of the issues that concern me.

          4. Neither I or Republicans give a crap about anything that concerns you.

          5. You have issues and NO solutions. How are you going to recognize a solution when one comes down the pike if you don’t have a clue?

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