Last March, Donald Trump threatened to cut off U.S. foreign aid to the countries of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras unless they made a greater effort to stem the flow of migrants streaming toward the U.S.
Today, the administration made good on that threat. The White House announced they would “reallocate” about $370 million dollars in U.S. assistance to those three countries, whose citizens are still streaming toward the U.S. hoping for asylum.
The plan will likely encounter stiff opposition in Congress.
Lawmakers, including some of Trump’s fellow Republicans as well as Democrats, have chafed against the president’s repeated decisions to disregard spending bills passed by Congress, some of which he has signed into law himself.
Lawmakers who opposed the plan said it was cruel to cut off aid to countries grappling with hunger and crime and that the move would be counterproductive because it would more likely increase the number of migrants than decrease it.
The opposition appears to be very selective in its definition of “cruelty.” Apparently, the burden on Americans of caring for hundreds of thousands of asylum seekers isn’t “cruel” at all.
Amazing how generous most of these people can be with other people’s money.
No funds will be provided until the administration is satisfied the countries are reducing the number of migrants reaching the U.S. border, State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus told reporters.
“This is consistent with the president’s direction and with the recognition that it is critical that there be sufficient political will in these countries to address the problem at its source,” she said.
Without elaborating, she added: “Working with Congress, we will reprogram those funds to other priorities as appropriate.”
A U.S. official, with knowledge of plans, said the administration would review the funding by April 2020.
As covered here, Mexico appears to be trying to do its part. But capturing a few hundred migrants at the border when 133,000 tried to enter the U.S. in May can, at best, be termed “a good start.”
Ever since this most recent mass migration from Central America began, American political leaders have utterly failed to do anything to stanch the flow of migrants streaming toward the U.S. border. And by not doing anything, they have encouraged the tidal wave of people by allowing them to believe that all they had to do was show up at the border and they would be welcomed into the country.
These poor, desperate people come here despite the odds being overwhelming that their asylum request will be refused. Instead, after they receive a date to appear in court to plead their case, about 90% disappear into the interior of the U.S., never to be heard from or seen again.
The situation is intolerable. Looking at the problem rationally, the president really had little choice but to force Central American countries to act.