Tuesday morning Trump threatened just the government of Honduras, saying if any of the 1600 people in a "caravan" headed to the U.S. Southern border were to attempt to cross, he would terminate all U.S. aid to the impoverished nation.
Just 12 hours later, President Trump has now expanded that threat to include Guatemala and El Salvador.
We have today informed the countries of Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador that if they allow their citizens, or others, to journey through their borders and up to the United States, with the intention of entering our country illegally, all payments made to them will STOP (END)!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 17, 2018
Additionally, Trump warns that anyone from those nations caught crossing the border will be "arrested and detained," before being deported.
Anybody entering the United States illegally will be arrested and detained, prior to being sent back to their country!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 17, 2018
Curiously, President Trump did not include the other Central American countries of Belize, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, or Panama in his threat.
America sends relatively little funding to Central American nations. In total, the U.S. government gives Honduras $127 million in aid, including military support and support from the Dept. of Health and Human Services.
The U.S. supports Guatemala with $297 million in aid, and El Salvador with less than $75 million.
"USAID programs in Guatemala seek to address the drivers of irregular migration to the United States, including high levels of violence and insecurity, pervasive poverty, and chronic malnutrition," the federal government's USAID website notes. USAID has made similar statements for Honduras ad El Salvador.
To put those dollars in perspective, Trump has already raised over $100 million for his 2020 re-election campaign. Last year, Congress allocated an additional $120 million – in addition to what was already budgeted – to protect President Trump and his family for the year.
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