Charles Zinn: Foreign aid helps with national security

  • In this photo taken Monday, March 13, 2017, Iman Diing, 20, center, holds her 13-month-old baby daughter Alakaii at a UNICEF-supported outpatient therapeutic program for the malnourished, near Aweil, in South Sudan. Mackenzie Knowles-Coursin/UNICEF via AP

Published: 9/11/2019 2:02:45 PM

Recently, the Trump administration has decided to deny green cards to migrants in need of public assistance, stating that the government is only looking to accept immigrants “who can stand on their own two feet.”

This is just yet another example of the seemingly endless barrage of anti-immigrant rhetoric from the current administration, this time aimed at legal, documented migrants. While this move is clearly horrible and anti-American, it also exposes one of the many logical fallacies of the Trump administration.

These policies are designed to try and curb immigration from the poor, less stable regions of the world, like Africa or the Middle East. However, denying green cards to these immigrants doesn’t solve the problem that the administration has with immigration from poorer areas. What would really help diminish this issue would be effective foreign aid and development initiatives. If these people had more political and economic stability in their home countries, they would be less likely to move.

And yet President Trump is looking to cut spending to the International Affairs budget, despite the government allocating less than 1% of the federal budget toward non-military foreign aid. If the Trump administration really wanted to deal with this issue in an effective manner, the government should spend more, not less, of our federal budget on aid and development.

Thankfully, here in Massachusetts, we have congressional leaders like Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Sen. Ed Markey who are actively protecting the International Affairs budget and supporting important anti-global poverty legislation. Nonetheless, it is critical that all members of the government, especially the White House, understand the beneficial impact of foreign assistance on our national security.

Charles Zinn


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