Aid Cut to Central America: Trump is Playing Hardball

Aid Cut to Central America: Trump is Playing Hardball

Aid Cut to Central America: Trump is Playing Hardball

What’s the word that the Creepy Porn Lawyer Michael Avenatti often used in his tweets? Basta! It means enough. So on Saturday the Trump administration finally had enough and cut aid to three Central American nations. No more American largesse to El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala until they halt their shenanigans at our southern border. Basta! 

Here’s a statement from a State Department spokesman:

“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. We will be engaging Congress as part of this process.”

President Trump also commented on this decision:

“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.”

It’s about time. These Northern Triangle nations have done nothing to stop their citizens from flooding our southern border. In recent weeks the numbers have become overwhelming. Here, at the end of March, immigration officials will have apprehended some 100,000 migrants — and that’s just from this month. Moreover, the commissioner of Customs and Border Protection noted that the 13,000+ migrants his agency was holding was “unprecedented:”

“A high number for us is 4,000. A crisis level is 6,000. Thirteen thousand is unprecedented.”

Kirsten Nielsen, Department of Homeland Security Secretary, said the system is in “free-fall:”

“D.H.S. is doing everything possible to respond to a growing humanitarian catastrophe while also securing our borders, but we have reached peak capacity and are now forced to pull from other missions to respond to the emergency.”

So President Trump put the hammer down and decided to cut aid to those nations who do nothing to stop this crisis, but instead maintain corruption in their governments.


Honduran migrants. Credit: ProtoplasmaKid [CC BY-SA 4.0]

Of course this has upset some in Congress and around the world.

For example, Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez denounced the strategy:

“President Trump’s irresponsible decision to cut off our assistance to El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras would undermine American interests and put our national security at risk. . . . “

“This latest reported move shows the Administration still does not understand that the United States cuts foreign aid to Central America at our own peril.”

How will cutting aid put the U.S. in “peril?” Menendez doesn’t tell us how, of course. Frankly, I think American citizens who live in border areas are the ones who are “in peril.”

Mexican President Andrés Obrador also warns that cutting aid won’t help. Instead, he says that “investing” billions of aid dollars helps to develop these nations economically and also reduces violence. And if that happens, all those Hondurans, El Salvadorans, and Guatemalans will just stay home.

Really? We’ve been giving away billions for years, and how’s that been working out?

Finally, Pope Francis weighed in because, well, he just can’t resist.

While visiting Morocco on a two-day visit, the Pope took a jab at President Trump:

“The issue of migration will never be resolved by raising barriers, fomenting fear of others or denying assistance to those who legitimately aspire to a better life for themselves and their families.”

Thanks, Your Holiness, but no thanks.

Perhaps Pope Francis should focus on moral failings closer to home — like the sex abuse scandal in the Roman Catholic Church.

But now that Trump is playing hardball with Central America, where does the U.S. go from here?

Whether we want to or not, we’ll have to fund more beds for the migrants already here, as well as more border agents and barriers. Law enforcement needs to become a deterrent for those in Central America who think they can beat the system. And speaking of the system — it must be stressed that economic hardship is not grounds for asylum. It may take a while, but once word filters down to Central America that the U.S. is standing tough, their citizens are not likely to risk the trip.

It’s time to play hardball, and President Trump is stepping up to the plate, unlike his predecessors. Cutting off aid to Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras is the right policy, and it’s long overdue. After all, this crisis is not fair to anyone — not to the folks at the border, to our border agents, or to taxpayers. Nor is it fair to the migrants themselves who’ve been told they’ll have a ticket to America if they just get here.

Enough already with this mess. Basta! 


Featured image: cropped from Pixabay license.

Written by

Kim is a pint-sized patriot who packs some big contradictions. She is a Baby Boomer who never became a hippie, an active Republican who first registered as a Democrat (okay, it was to help a sorority sister's father in his run for sheriff), and a devout Lutheran who practices yoga. Growing up in small-town Indiana, now living in the Kansas City metro, Kim is a conservative Midwestern gal whose heart is also in the Seattle area, where her eldest daughter, son-in-law, and grandson live. Kim is a working speech pathologist who left school system employment behind to subcontract to an agency, and has never looked back. She describes her conservatism as falling in the mold of Russell Kirk's Ten Conservative Principles. Don't know what they are? Google them!

  • George V says:

    Too bad we can’t timewarp back to the late 1970’s and the Mariel boatlift, when 100,000+ Cubans flooded into Florida. I seem to recall large fenced relocation compounds were set up to hold them until they were processed.

  • Kathy says:

    Just because the US cuts formal aid does not mean we are not still providing them lots of money. From a Daily Caller article:
    “Immigrants from Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras sent back a record $120 billion in remittances this decade, according to an immigration expert using U.N. and Latin American banking statistics. The numbers are expected to keep climbing, with immigrants from these three countries having sent $17 billion in 2018 alone.”

    And that doesn’t include the money that gets sent back to Mexican families.

    • Kim Hirsch says:

      If we are successful at keeping them out, then illegals won’t be sending money home. The point of cutting aid is to force these countries to shape up and keep their people home.

      First things first.

      • GWB says:

        Yes, but, “first things first” as you said. We need to tax those remittances at an exorbitant rate, and use the system to track the illegals down and remove them.

  • GWB says:

    It’s about time.
    Let’s start work on the other ~150 nations, now.
    (Does this mean no more aid for Mexico, too? They’re not exactly helping us here.)

    the 13,000+ migrants his agency was holding
    Which we shouldn’t be doing. They came her to invade our country, and they should be sent back, without a chance at staying here. The idea of providing due process for people who literally invaded our country brings to mind the old adage “The Constitution is not a suicide pact.”

    put our national security at risk
    Ummm…. have you seen the southern border lately, Skippy?

    “investing” billions of aid dollars helps to develop these nations economically and also reduces violence
    Really? Because it looks mostly like we’re just paying hush money to a bunch of kleptocrats. Let them develop their OWN damn economy. (BTW, jefe, giving people money, gratis, never once helped them develop their own capabilities – unless they had the drive and capability to make it on their own to start with. Not once in the history of the world.)

    The issue of migration will never be resolved by raising barriers
    Then fire all those Swiss guards, Your Socialistness. Stop locking certain doors in the Vatican.
    Because the issue of keeping people out will almost always be solved at least partially by BARRIERS.

    we’ll have to fund more beds for the migrants already here
    Nope. They can sleep on the bus, on their way home. No processing, no adjudication, just “Get on the bus” and send them to their home.

    it must be stressed that economic hardship is not grounds for asylum
    Honestly, we must say “there are NO grounds for asylum, anymore, except from these countries” and make a list of places like China and North Korea, where they actually oppress their people more than normal.

    You want a better gov’t? Fine, then make one yourself. We did it. (And we’re about to have do it again.) But it will never work if you don’t have the right culture to start with – freedom, property rights, equality under the law. Without those things, your revolution will simply turn in one dictatorship for another, or you’ll just throw out the old socialists for new ones (but, I repeat myself).

    their citizens are not likely to risk the trip
    Given the groups that are stirring this pot, and that are directly funding this crap, I doubt the aid cut-off will have the effect you hope for. He’s going to have to cut those people off at the knees, as well. (Prosecuting their members in the US for aiding and abetting, and barring all their foreign members from the US banking system and from ever entering our country might help some.)

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