Monday, April 1, 2019

Trump cuts off aid to Central American countries while threatening to close the border - Rick Moran

by Rick Moran

As expected, Democrats complained.

We're in a severe crisis and its time we started to act like it.

Donald Trump has cut off aid to three Central American countries whose citizens continue to flee north seeking asylum in the US. The president also threatened to close the US border with Mexico, a move that would have a devastating economic impact on the US.

Border facilities are absolutely overwhelmed by the flood of humanity coming from Nicaragua, Honduras, and Guatemala. Customs and Border Protection chief Kevin McAleenan told an El Paso audience on Thursday that the system was at the "breaking point" with"unprecedented" numbers of illegals and asylum seekers flooding the US border.

As expected, Democrats complained.

Associated Press:
Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, spoke out Saturday against cutting off aid to Central America, declaring that “foreign assistance is not charity; it advances our strategic interests and funds initiatives that protect American citizens.”
And a group of House Democrats visiting El Salvador denounced the administration’s decision to cut aid to the region.
“As we visit El Salvador evaluating the importance of U.S. assistance to Central America to address the root causes of family and child migration, we are extremely disappointed to learn that President Trump intends to cut off aid to the region,” said the statement from five lawmakers, including Rep. Eliot L. Engel of New York, who chairs the House Foreign Affairs Committee. “The President’s approach is entirely counterproductive.”
The Trump administration has threatened before to scale back or cut off U.S. assistance to Central America. Congress has not approved most of those proposed cuts, however, and a report this year by the Congressional Research Service said any change in that funding would depend on what Congress does.
Crisis? What crisis?

As it stands now, those three Central American countries have zero motivation to do anything to stem the flow of people from their countries to the US. These are not the freest countries in the world and if they can crack down on people who speak against the government, they can sure as hell do something about the flow of asylum seekers.

These governments profit from those who cross the US border, apply for asylum, and are let free until their court hearing. Meanwhile, the asylum seekers send billions of dollars in remittances back to their home countries. 

As far as Trump's threat to close the border with Mexico, that would be very problematic:
Trump has been promising for more than two years to build a long, impenetrable wall along the border to stop illegal immigration, though Congress has been reluctant to provide the money he needs. In the meantime, he has repeatedly threatened to close the border, but this time, with a new group of migrants heading north , he gave a definite timetable and suggested a visit to the border within the next two weeks.
A substantial closure could have an especially heavy impact on cross-border communities from San Diego to South Texas, as well as supermarkets that sell Mexican produce, factories that rely on imported parts, and other businesses across the U.S.
The U.S. and Mexico trade about $1.7 billion in goods daily, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which said closing the border would be “an unmitigated economic debacle” that would threaten 5 million American jobs.
Even just the threat of closing the border has the Mexican government worried. No doubt it would hurt the US, but it would be an economic disaster for Mexico. 

Weak, corrupt governments in Central America are directly responsible for this mess. It will be interesting to see their response to the cut off of aid, as more caravans are forming to move people toward the US.

Rick Moran


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