The Trump administration is continuing their relentless campaign to harass those from outside of the United States this weekend. The State Department has confirmed that they are cutting off humanitarian aid for the Central American countries of Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador as the U.S. continues to grapple with a spike in asylum seekers fleeing violence in those areas. They told multiple media outlets that they were doing so at the direction of President Donald Trump, ending programming that had been set in motion in the 2017 and 2018 fiscal years, which was already down from previous disbursements.
The State Department added that they would be “engaging Congress as part of this process,” so the next steps for their plans remain at least somewhat up in the air. Sen. Robert Menendez (N.J.), the ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, denounced the move as detrimental not just to the well-being of the people of the targeted areas but to the national security of the United States, since significantly less money will be going into the politically and socially unstable areas.
‘U.S. foreign assistance is not charity; it advances our strategic interests and funds initiatives that protect American citizens… the Administration still does not understand that the United States cuts foreign aid to Central America at our own peril.’
Just in recent days, Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen said she signed a compact with representatives of the nations from the so-called “Northern Triangle” formalizing commitments against human smuggling and trafficking and other transnational criminal activities in support of stronger border security. Trump’s new apparent order thereby comes like a stick of dynamite on the scene that’s supposed to somehow address the issue.
It is far from clear how the move is even supposed to address the issue that’s been at the forefront of the Trump administration’s talking points — immigration. Repeatedly throughout recent months and years — including again just very recently — “caravans” of asylum seekers have gathered to attempt to find refuge in the United States from threats like economic desolation and high murder rates. In response, Trump has stuck to his preferred modus operandi of ruthlessly lashing out, stumping for his proposed southern border wall meant to literally try and push the problem somewhere else and now, cutting off aid to struggling nations as some kind of punitive measure because they dare seek a better future.
Trump has claimed that the countries in question “set up these caravans,” but there is no evidence for that outside of the far-right talking heads he loves to retweet.
His apparent new formal order for aid to be cut off anyway comes after he’s repeatedly threatened to withdraw the money in the past, justifying his push by asserting the nations “do nothing for the United States but take our money” — because that’s the sort of ruthlessly egotistical reasoning American foreign policy is based on these days, apparently.
Concurrently, he has threatened to completely close the United States’ southern border over the immigration unless Mexico stops it, falsely claiming them as well to be simply riding on the United States’ goodwill and cash and doing nothing to address the issue.
Featured Image via screenshot