In this Aug. 11, 2017, photo, immigrants suspected of crossing into the United States illegally along the Rio Grande near Granjeno, Texas, are held by U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agents. After hitting a 17-year low shortly after President Donald Trump took office, the numbers of people coming over the border have risen four months in a row. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
The hammer is dropping. With an emergency on the border which can no longer be denied, the President is making big moves to pressure Central American countries to stop the outflow of migrants. News of a new caravan broke yesterday and the situation is only worsening. Right now, the CBP do not have the manpower nor the facilities to process the sheer amount of illegal border crossers.
Trump has decided it’s time to stop shoveling billions of dollars to countries which do nothing but absorb it into their corrupt governments.
The United States will no longer provide foreign assistance to El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.
A State Department spokesperson told The Hill in a statement Saturday that the agency was directed by President Trump to halt aid to the so-called Northern Triangle countries.
“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,” the statement said. “We will be engaging Congress as part of this process.”
Trump commented himself earlier today.
President Trump on Friday said that the countries “set up” migrant caravans, according to CNN.
“We were paying them tremendous amounts of money. And we’re not paying them anymore. Because they haven’t done a thing for us. They set up these caravans,” he reportedly said.
This is leading to the usual gnashing of teeth. Senator Bob Menendez says this will hurt national security. How? He doesn’t actually explain because that’s rarely a prerequisite for a mainstream media source quoting a Democrat.
Here’s the issue. We’ve been giving these countries billions of dollars to help solve the migrant problem. They’ve done nothing at best and at worst have exacerbated the crisis. Some argue that if we don’t continue to dump money into these countries that it’ll just lead to more migrants. That’s debatable, as sending them money has seemed to make little to no difference, but I don’t think the United States should be held hostage by countries who refuse to do even the most basic things we ask of them.
What needs to happen now is for Congress to immediately fund more beds, agents, and barriers for CBP. The flow is not going to stop until enforcement reaches a high enough level to serve as a deterrent. If these people don’t believe they can get in, they won’t come. We’ve seen this dynamic before, where migrant numbers ebb and flow depending on what rumors reach Central America regarding the ease of crossing illegally. The reason family units are at a record high right now is because word got out that if you drag a kid with you, you will likely be caught and released into the interior.
Our asylum process is broken and is being abused. It needs to be fixed in a way that stops the incentives for people to risk their and their kid’s lives on such a dangerous journey. Economic hardship is not grounds for asylum. By law it isn’t and logically it can’t be. It’s not sustainable within the U.S.’s finite resources.
The President is doing the right thing here by playing hardball. He should also seriously consider closing the southern border to pressure Mexico to start taking this seriously. There is no excuse for them to not secure what is a relatively tiny border between Mexico and Guatemala. They could stop this crisis in a day if they wanted to. If they won’t, then it’s time to make them feel it.