President Trump is on the immigration offensive, cutting aid to Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador and threatening to shut down the southern border between the United States and Mexico. As he ineloquently told reporters, he “ended payments to Guatemala, to Honduras, and to El Salvador. No money goes there anymore,” and accused the nations of orchestrating the caravans north.
In fiscal year 2016, the United States gave $131 million to Guatemala, $98 million to Honduras, and $68 million to El Salvador, but those numbers dwindled dramatically in 2017 to $69 million, $66 million, and $46 million respectively.
The move made U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen cut short her presence in the United Kingdom for bilateral security meetings to oversee and implement the president’s declarations.
Congress was notified by the State Department that the White House was reviewing and possibly suspending 2017 and 2018 payments to the trio of nations, where the massive migrant caravans marching to the U.S. border were organized.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told the House that Trump instructed him and Nielsen to “develop a set of programs that reward effective outcomes, that reward good leadership, that get us to a place where we actually achieve the outcomes.”
Democrats believe they are calling Trump’s bluff.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) called the threat of closing the border a “notion” that “can’t possibly rise to the level of an idea.”
Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, railed against the move to cut financial assistance, calling Trump’s new edict a “reckless announcement,” claiming that American aid “advances our strategic interests and funds initiatives that protect American citizens.”
But Trump isn’t bluffing.
The Border Crisis
U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan recently warned that the immigration system is “well beyond capacity and remains at the breaking point.” And then he said a whopping 76,103 Central Americans were detained while attempting to cross into the United States illegally in the month of February.
At the same time, New Mexico’s Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham sent National Guard troops packing, claiming that Trump had invented the border crisis and she would not take part in his “charade.”
Yet Mexican Interior Minister Olga Sanchez Cordero is warning that the “mother of all migrant caravans” is gathering in Honduras, getting ready to move through Mexico to the United States. She also advises that a smaller caravan of 2,500 migrants already is on its way north. Breaking records, the numbers are on track for reaching well more than one million immigrants attempting to push into America by year’s end.
Make no mistake – these efforts are funded by liberal open borders groups and George Soros. Some blame the Democratic Party, too: if not for financial complicity, then through sanctuary city policies, an extreme left judicial system, and lack of enforcement of immigration laws.
The Role of Government?
Mario Garcia, a 45-year-old bricklayer in El Salvador, has his sights on America and is heading north, dismissing the cuts in aid and threats of closing the border, in hopes of setting foot on U.S. soil and claiming refugee status.
“There is no work here, and we want to improve (our lives), to get ahead for our families, for our children. I don’t give a damn (what Trump says), I’m determined.”
What a way to ingratiate yourself when seeking assistance. And perhaps that sentiment is the reason why Rasmussen Reports 59% of likely voters are demanding increased border security.
Trump appears to be unflinching in both his desire to punish the Northern Triangle by choking off funding and to shut down the southern border until there is reciprocal cooperation between nations where illegal immigration is concerned.
As Trump weekend-tweeted from Mar-a-Lago, “It would be so easy to fix our weak and very stupid Democrat inspired immigration laws …. 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!”
Dems may want to retreat from poking the Trump beast any further and instead spend energy on solving the crisis of a century for their own constituency.