By Jay Jackson, Chicago Chronicle
31 Mar 2019, 23:47 GMT+10
- The Trump administration out of the blue has stopped foreign aid to the three countries
- The move will cost Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador hundreds of millions of dollars a year
- “We’re not paying them anymore because they haven’t done a thing for us,” Mr Trump said Friday
WASHINGTON – The Trump administration out of the blue has stopped foreign aid to three countries in Central America, because he says they are sending migrants to the United States.
Funding to Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, known within the U.S. government as ‘the Northern Triangle,’ will lose the funding, the State Department confirmed on Saturday.
We are carrying out the presidents direction and ending 2017 and 2018 foreign assistance programs for the Northern Triangle, a State Department spokesperson said in a statement. We will be engaging Congress as part of this process.
The move will cost the countries $500 million for the 2018 year plus millions in leftovers from 2017.
We were giving them $500 million. We were paying them tremendous amounts of money, and were not paying them anymore because they havent done a thing for us, U.S. President Donald Trump said Friday, prior to the U.S. State Department issuing their statement.
Mr Trump also threatened to close the southern border if Mexico doesnt do more to stop migrants from entering the U.S. illegally.
Texas Democrat and chairman of the Hispanic Caucus, Rep. Joaquin Castro, described the administration’s action as ‘short-sighted’ and a ‘flawed decision.’
By cutting off desperately needed aid, the administration will deprive El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras of critical funds that help stabilize these countries by curbing migration push factors such as violence, gangs, poverty and insecurity. Ultimately, this short-sighted and flawed decision lays the groundwork for the humanitarian crisis at our border to escalate further, he said.