I write in response to Andrew Tasker’s letter to the editor (Sun Journal, Feb. 9). I believe that a couple issues need further discussion.

First, the vast majority of those people in the caravans are from Central American countries, not South American — Honduras and Guatemala citizens in particular — although there are reports that some people from India, Somalia and other countries have also joined the migrant caravan when other means to enter the United States failed them. Some of those seeking entry may have criminal backgrounds, as evidenced by arrests on the Mexican side of the border.

Second, the United States already gives significant aid to the countries mentioned, as well as to Mexico, El Salvador, Panama, Belize, Costa Rica and Nicaragua which, according to the U.S. Aid program, totaled $945 million a year. In fact, in 2016, several of these countries received larger amounts under the Obama administration in a failed effort to ease poverty and poor living conditions — the very reasons people are leaving their countries two years later.

Lastly, the wall was never intended to be an end-all to the problem of illegal immigration but, instead, a deterrent. In addition, it can significantly affect the illegal drugs coming across the U.S. border, as well as sex trafficking that also occurs in the current environment.

The wall is not meant as a cure-all, but rather as another tool to slow or stop those issues that then affect so many U.S. citizens.

Build the wall.

Robert Reed, Lewiston

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