President Donald Trump is officially withholding hundreds of millions in U.S. aid to three Central American countries as punishment for being the majority of the current illegal immigration crisis.
The White House informed Congress on Monday it is permanently diverting $370 million in aid from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala, according to Reuters.
That money was previously approved by Congress for fiscal year 2018, but had not yet been used.
Trump is not stopping there.
$180 million approved in 2017’s fiscal year was not spent, so Trump’s administration suspended that money.
U.S. Border Patrol encountered over 144,000 illegal immigrants during May.
May’s total marked the third month in a row illegal immigrant apprehensions topped 100,000.
This year, over half a million illegal immigrants have been arrested by border patrol.
Experts claim the number will reach one million by the end of the year.
A vast majority of these immigrants are family units or unaccompanied minors from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.
The Department of Homeland Security — burdened by regulations intended for large-scale apprehensions of adult Mexican men traveling alone — are buckling under the weight of the new immigrant demographics.
The Trump administration has made efforts to control the flow of Central American immigrants pouring across the U.S.-Mexico border.
Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan embarked on a four-day trip to the Northern Triangle in May and secured an agreement with the Guatemalan government aiming to curb illegal immigration out of the country.
The White House doubled down on their international cooperation by reaching a sweeping deal with Mexico’s government earlier in June.
Mexico agreed to deploy up to 6,000 National Guard troops to its southern border with Guatemala and increase security at the northern border with the U.S.
News of Trump diverting aid from Central America isn’t surprising.
The administration announced its initial intentions in March.
“At the Secretary’s instruction, we are carrying out the President’s direction and ending FY 2017 and FY 2018 foreign assistance programs for the Northern Triangle,” a State Department said in March. “We will be engaging Congress as part of this process.”
Trump has long been critical of Central American governments accepting U.S. aid as they allow their citizens to illegally immigrate.
He went on to tweet his frustrations.
Mexico is doing NOTHING to help stop the flow of illegal immigrants to our Country. They are all talk and no action. Likewise, Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador have taken our money for years, and do Nothing. The Dems don’t care, such BAD laws. May close the Southern Border!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 28, 2019
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