Stephen Miller: No decision yet on shutting down border

Saul Bowman
April 3, 2019

Many experts say it's too soon to determine whether those programs are working, but in El Salvador, officials have praised the country's cooperation with the USA for dramatically reducing migration.

In a decision that may have the opposite effect of its intended impact, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has followed President Trump's direction and ordered the State Department to cut off USA aid to El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.

"Following the secretary's instructions, we are conducting the president's address and ending the foreign assistance programs for the Northern Triangle for fiscal year 2017 and fiscal year 2018", said a spokesman for the State Department.

Democratic Representative Nita Lowey, who chairs the committee, tweeted that the move to cut aid was "immoral and more likely to deteriorate conditions that push people into the kind of poverty and despair that exacerbates migration".

Migrants walk up a riverbank at the Mexico-US border after getting past a line of Mexican police at the Chaparral border crossing in Tijuana.

Trump said on Twitter Saturday, "It would be so easy to fix our weak and very stupid Democrat inspired immigration laws. When you close the border also you will stop a lot of the drugs from coming in", Trump told reporters in Florida on Friday.

The total number of immigrants being released by USA immigration authorities in El Paso is averaging 500-600 per day, said Ruben Garcia, executive director of Annunciation House, which coordinates migrant releases with US immigration authorities.

Former Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson says that investment is "beginning to show positive signs". El Salvador could do more'.

The Trump administration says the governments of the three Latin American countries can do more to prevent their citizens from fleeing to the U.S. While the plan to cut aid is designed to hold them accountable, Galvez insists the cuts will create new problems. Speaking like the political gangster he is, the U.S. president declared, "We were giving them $500 million". Congress may seek to stop the aid being redirected elsewhere.

El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala have been the major countries from where migrants are arriving into the United States. Between last year and this year, about $1.3 billion was allocated to the region, with the vast majority of it going to those three countries, according to a study from the Congressional Research Service. He added: "We are going to continue helping so that the migratory flow, those who pass through our country, do so according to the law, in an orderly way".

"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. "It's sending out a message to other countries that, 'Don't come because our borders may not work at any time.' That is extremely scary and risky". "We will participate in the Congress as part of this process".

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