California Governor Gavin Newsom’s first international trip will be to El Salvador, to better understand exactly how much California cash is needed to stop illegal immigration to the United States.
“I’m the government, and I’m here to help our 680,000 El Salvadoran immigrants who export up to $500 million a month to their home country,” Newsom said as pallets of cash were loaded into a Cal Guard C-130 at Travis Air Force Base.
“You cannot solve the migrant issue by building walls,” Newsom said. “But we might solve it by sending a tsunami of American cash to one of the most violent countries in the world where chronic public overspending blights the economy and three-quarters of the country’s businesses don’t pay taxes.”
“People are fleeing these countries out of desperation—trying to escape violence & corruption,” Newsom tweeted. “Closing down our border or ending foreign aid won’t solve anything. I’ll be traveling to El Salvador next week to hear directly from folks about how CA can help.”
Dick Pettersson, a part-time professor of anthropology at UC San Diego, said the pallets of cash are a “symbolic” way for California to exercise its moral authority, and won’t stop mass migration from a country with an epidemic of poverty, gang violence and corruption.
“El Salvador gets more than 20 percent of its gross domestic product from American cash so Newsom’s C-130 is merely symbolic,” said Pettersson. “Nevertheless, only Gavin Newsom could go to El Salvador, and I think that’s a healthy thing, part of his role and responsibility as governor.”