Trump cutting aid to Central America would worsen conditions there—and that's exactly what he wants
Donald Trump wants to cut U.S. aid to El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala over vulnerable families at our southern border, in a short-sighted and intentional temper tantrum that in the long run would only worsen conditions in those countries and uproot more families from there. Experts have warned about this because ongoing aid has been having notable and positive effects.
The Washington Post reports that aid has been “spent to train police officers, fund after-school programs and improve local governance.” During this time, “both El Salvador’s homicide rate and migration flows have declined sharply. More than 72,000 Salvadorans were apprehended crossing the U.S. border in 2016. By 2018, the number had plummeted by more than half, to fewer than 32,000.”
Trump’s move could now destroy this progress. “The decision to cut funding contradicts the results of what we have accomplished together,” Raúl López, El Salvador’s vice minister of justice, told the Washington Post. “The fact is that migration from El Salvador is declining, thanks to our work … the question we have now is, ‘Why would we stop doing something that is working?’”
Well, there’s absolutely no reason to believe that Trump cutting aid and worsening a crisis leading into a presidential election isn’t intentional. This is the kind of evil shit that happens when Stephen Miller is involved, a man who said he enjoyed watching family separation play out. Trump doesn’t care how much chaos he inflicts, as long as it benefits him politically. Just look at him and immigration during the midterms, and more recently at border officials who haven’t any qualms about perp-walking migrant kids and caging people in an apparent anti-immigrant photo-op.
Trump’s actions at the border have already had devastating consequences as he has taken vast steps to illegally block asylum-seekers and vulnerable families at the border, allowing only a few to pass through officials ports of entry. Meanwhile, thousands have been forced to wait on the Mexican side of the border for weeks, even months for their turn.
The administration’s “deterrence-only, build-a-wall, send-the-troops, separate-the-families, lock-em-up, border-centric response to a regional refugee and migration challenge” has been a failure, immigrant rights advocacy group America’s Voice notes. Unrest in Central America requires humane thinking and solutions, none of which this administration is capable of. So now he wants to doom successful policy to failure, and it’s intentional.