President Trump recently announced the United States would no longer be giving money to three Central American countries that he claims refuse to help prevent migrant caravans.
“We were paying them tremendous amounts of money. And we’re not paying them anymore. Because they haven’t done a thing for us. They set up these caravans,” Trump said via BizPac Review, speaking of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. The countries are commonly referred to as the “Northern Triangle.”
According to the report, Trump plans to cut $500 million to the three countries:
A State Department spokesman provided a statement to The Hill on Saturday that the agency was ordered by the President to halt aid to the Northern Triangle nations. “At the Secretary’s instruction, we are carrying out the President’s direction and ending FY 2017 and FY 2018 foreign assistance programs for the Northern Triangle,” the statement said. “We will be engaging Congress as part of this process.”
According to Trump, the allocated funds had totaled $500 million, though the accuracy of that number is in question. In December, an announcement by the State Department indicated $5.8 billion in public and private American investment was being mobilized in the three countries.
The financial assistance to the Northern Triangle has previously been characterized as important in the effort to slow or stop the growing flow of illegals through Mexico to the southern U.S. border.
The news of canceling the foreign aid comes as a 20,000-strong migrant caravan is reportedly forming in Central America.
The Mexican government is calling the group the “Mother of all caravans,” BizPac Review also reports.
“This unprecedented caravan said to possibly exceed 20,000 in number has started gathering today in El Salvador with people from not only El Salvador, but Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Venezuela, but other nations as well,” the report adds.
President Trump has also reportedly considered closing the southern border amid a continued humanitarian and security crisis.
“If they don’t stop it we will keep the border closed. And we will keep it stopped for a long time. I’m not playing games,” Trump said, via BizPac Review.
Trump took to Twitter on Saturday and doubled down on the idea, claiming the immigration system was at capacity and could not support any more migrants.
“Mexico must use its very strong immigration laws to stop the many thousands of people trying to get into the USA. Our detention areas are maxed out & we will take no more illegals. Next step is to close the Border! This will also help us with stopping the Drug flow from Mexico!” Trump tweeted.
“It would be so easy to fix our weak and very stupid Democrat inspired immigration laws. In less than one hour, and then a vote, the problem would be solved. But the Dems don’t care about the crime, they don’t want any victory for Trump and the Republicans, even if good for USA!” the president added.