Trump's action only makes it more likely that desperate people will flee their impoverished home countries and try to come to the U.S.
Trump has cut aid to Central America, just days after both his own ICE director and a leading pro-Trump GOP senator admitted that doing so would only worsen problems at the border.
Reuters reported on Monday that Trump has cut $370 million in aid to El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, just because thousands of desperate migrants have sought asylum in the United States.
“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,” Reuters noted.
A State Department spokesperson said the aid money would be held up until the countries take “concrete actions to reduce the number of illegal migrants coming to the U.S. border,” and that the funds would instead be used for “other priorities.”
Trump’s decision worsens the already dire economic situation in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, and makes it more likely people will seek to migrate north to escape poverty and violence.
Both the current head of ICE and one of Trump’s closest allies in the Senate warned against this course of action less than a week ago.
“The information intelligence shows they are coming here largely for economic equality,” Acting ICE Director Mark Morgan told CNN last week.
Morgan, who shares Trump’s anti-immigrant sentiments, nonetheless told CNN anchors that “of course” ongoing foreign aid to Central American countries would help to stem the flow of migration.
“We should still continue to work with the governments of the Northern Triangle countries to help them in any way they can,” Morgan said.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) made similar arguments last week during a hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
“We need more money for humanitarian assistance,” Graham said at the hearing on Tuesday.
Trump’s actions on immigration have been driven by racist fearmongering, and don’t address either the causes or the solutions of problems with our immigration system.
Instead, Trump has proposed impractical and racist ideas like his ill-fated border wall, and now is pushing another cruel maneuver that his own administration and party concedes is wrongheaded.
Trump is always causing problems or making them worse — but never solving them.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.