Readers React: 5,200 more troops to meet desperate migrants at the border is a massive overreaction

Some of the thousands of Central American migrants in the caravan get a lift to a camp on Oct. 30 in Juchitan de Zaragoza, Mexico.
Some of the thousands of Central American migrants in the caravan get a lift to a camp on Oct. 30 in Juchitan de Zaragoza, Mexico.
(Spencer Platt / Getty Images)

To the editor: I am deeply saddened that President Trump is so frightened of immigrants who have nothing, and who have no way of defending themselves. He is sending 5,200 more active-duty troops to the U.S. border with Mexico, a higher number than immigrants expected to arrive.

The migrants are coming from Central America seeking a better way of life, one offering security and a way to provide for their families with dignity and hope. The countries they come from are in chaos — a chaos that has been, in some way, created by the United States.

What is our country, our president, doing to assist in bringing stability to the Central American countries? People tend not to want to pick up and leave their homes; they would stay if they felt secure and could provide for their families.

Diane Smith, Los Angeles


To the editor: Although Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto did not do what the Trump administration wanted, which was to physically stop the caravan from crossing into Mexico, he did the next best thing. By offering everyone in the caravan provisional residency permits, work papers and access to healthcare and schools, he undercut fully and completely any legal argument for refugee status in the U.S.


With this offer by Peña Nieto, there can be no argument that the caravan hasn’t reached safety in Mexico. Thus, all the lawyers who were preparing to gather on our southern border to advise the members of the caravan on their rights will have nothing to say.

George A. Vandeman, Playa del Rey


To the editor: Our president, as is his wont, likes to frighten us. Warning about the “invasion” of thousands of abused people, shedding everything they own and know in a quest for safety and a desire to contribute to our country by applying for refugee status here, is one (one!) of the latest examples.

If past is prologue, perhaps 900 invading souls from this caravan might eventually make it to the richest, most generous country on Earth.

Those 900 invaders would fill a third of the seats at Carnegie Hall and would be considered a disastrous attendance at the Hollywood Bowl. Golly.

David Chambers, Los Angeles


To the editor: Last fiscal year, we gave a paltry $144 million in aid to Honduras, about $229 million to Guatemala and about $91 million to El Salvador, according to USAID.

What if we gave these countries part of our $590-billion military budget? What if we gave a fraction of the more than $5 trillion projected to be spent on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan?

I doubt we would need the thousands of military troops at our border to protect us from these desperate people seeking jobs, security and a better life.

John Wynne, Garden Grove

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