There has been ample discussion over the past few months about the several caravans of Central American migrants that have already or are currently moving toward the southern U.S. border with the intent to enter the U.S.
Those Central American migrant caravans — which typically number in the thousands and are largely composed of migrants originating from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras — have drawn the ire of President Donald Trump for the various risks they pose to the U.S.
In fact, Trump has previously placed those Central American countries on notice that, should they fail to get a handle on the caravans developing in their midst, the foreign aid largess the U.S. so graciously shares with those nations could be at risk of being withheld or diverted elsewhere.
Amid news that another migrant caravan is forming in Honduras, the Washington Examiner reported that President Trump has reiterated his threat that foreign aid to the Central American nations could be cut off if they don’t do anything about it.
…..Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador are doing nothing for the United States but taking our money. Word is that a new Caravan is forming in Honduras and they are doing nothing about it. We will be cutting off all aid to these 3 countries – taking advantage of U.S. for years!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 28, 2018
As part of a series of tweets that largely focused on the government shutdown and current impasse in Congress over his request for additional border security funding and threats to shut down the southern border entirely, Trump called out El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras over the caravans.
Trump tweeted, “…Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador are doing nothing for the United States but taking our money. Word is that a new Caravan is forming in Honduras and they are doing nothing about it. We will be cutting off all aid to these 3 countries – taking advantage of U.S. for years!”
However, for all of his threats to cut foreign aid to those nations, it doesn’t appear that any action has been taken to follow through, at least not as part of the Fiscal Year 2019 budget, in which each of those nations stands to gain tens of millions of U.S. taxpayer dollars in aid.
Indeed, the State Department has reportedly already designated $45.7 million in aid for El Salvador, $69.4 million for Guatemala and $65.7 million for Honduras as part of the broader 2019 aid disbursements.
The latest threat from Trump came on the heels of a report from The San Diego Union-Tribune that another caravan numbering around 15,000 people was in the process of forming in Honduras and was scheduled to depart that nation around Jan. 15.
That caravan will undoubtedly grow even larger in size once it sets out and attracts more individuals and families from El Salvador and Guatemala.
However, it was also reported that this new caravan isn’t expected to attempt the trek through Mexico to the U.S. border, but instead intends to settle in southern Mexico and seek work and a new life there.
If true, that would be a good thing, as there are already thousands of Central American migrants who have reached the southern U.S. border — most of them around the border crossing near Tijuana and San Diego — and have been essentially abandoned by the folks who organized the caravans in the first place.
Interestingly, while the U.S. government can’t seem to find the $5 billion in funds Trump has requested for border security and a wall, the government did find an additional $4.8 billion to invest in southern Mexico infrastructure and another $5.8 billion for the same in the three Central American nations.
It remains to be seen if this newest caravan will only journey into southern Mexico or if they actually intend to travel all the way north to the U.S. border, as the previous caravans have done.
Regardless, President Trump has expressed his great displeasure and frustration with the Central American nations as per the migrant caravans made up of their own people, and one of these days he may actually follow through on the threat to cut their foreign aid if they don’t take substantial steps to address the situation.
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