Published: Wed, April 03, 2019
Worldwide | By Angelina Lucas

Trump seeks to cut foreign aid to 3 Central American nations

Trump seeks to cut foreign aid to 3 Central American nations

She further defended the decision to cut aid to the three Central American countries of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras over the U.S. immigration problem, asserting that "We need to send a message".

He said several times that it would be "so easy" for Mexican authorities to stop immigrants passing through their country and trying to enter the USA illegally, "but they just take our money and 'talk'". He said Mexico needs to solidify its southern border with Guatemala to prevent the caravans from heading north through Mexico to the USA and that the three Central American counties need to curb migrants from leaving their countries.

"Most of this aid is meant to address the causes of migration - reduce poverty, violence, gangs, improve rule of law, and reform justice systems", said Senator Patrick Leahy, the senior Democrat on the Senate Appropriations Committee.

On Saturday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that, at the president's direction, the State Department was ending its foreign assistance programs for the three Central American countries for 2017 and 2018. "We will be engaging Congress as part of this process", a spokesperson for the State Department said in a statement.

As the United States Global Leadership Coalition explained to CNN, aid programs, far from being a direct transaction from government to government, inject money into private and public aid initiatives in the three countries and address "the root causes of violence to promote opportunities and security for its citizens". Trump confirmed the suspension of aid payments to the three countries on Friday.

Some Democrats from the House of Representatives were visiting El Salvador when they learned about the USA president's decision to cut assistance.

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A group of representatives slammed the decision, calling President Trump "reckless". One such USA -funded program in El Salvador gives children job training, and according to Schrayer, homicides rates have come down 78% in these areas. "The president cutting off aid to these countries will not solve this problem", he said on NBC's "Meet the Press". "They set up these 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", he continued.

"We were giving them $500m", Trump said.

Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY), chair of the House Appropriations Committee, said Trump's order is "immoral and more likely to deteriorate conditions that push people into the kind of poverty and despair that exacerbates migration". "We could prevent a lot of what's happening on the southern border by preventing people from moving into Mexico in the first place". "You can take the president seriously", White House counselor Kellyanne Conway told Fox News on Sunday.

Trump's latest declaration came after Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said his country was doing its part to fight migrant smuggling.

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