Less than 24 hours after President Trump accused the Northern Triangle countries, namely El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras of setting-up migrant caravans for entry into the United States, the U.S. Department of State announced it is cutting the financial aid to them.
According to the President, Washington has been paying ''tremendous amounts of money'' to these countries and in return, they ''had not done a thing for the US.''
His critical statement came after a recent surge of asylum seekers from these three countries have sought to enter the US across the southern border.
As per the U.S. House Appropriations Committee, some $700 million of aid will be affected. The measure to end the funding does not take effect immediately as the Congress should also have a word, as the State Department explained.
The Democratic Representative Nita Lowey who chairs the committee opposed the decision on Twitter calling it ''immoral.'' She also added that it would not have a positive effect but would eventually worsen the situation pushing people into despair and migration.
New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez, the leading Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, echoed Lowey's words highlighting that such a decision is ''reckless.'' Menendez also asserted that the U.S. foreign aid is not charity.
Moreover, added he, it advanced our country's strategic interests and funded initiatives protecting us as American citizens. Therefore, Menendez encouraged both Republicans and Democrats in the Senate to reject it.
The government of El Salvador said in a statement that it had tried to stem the flow of asylum seekers.
The Honduran Foreign Ministry emphasized the ''solid, close, and positive'' bilateral relationship with the United States. Moreover, it also added that Tegucigalpa and Washington strengthened their relationship during the last week's visit of the Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez to Washington where he met the U.S. national security adviser John Bolton.
However, it called the U.S. policies ''contradictory.''
Back in October last year, President Trump already threatened to stop entirely or to reduce the financial aid substantially to the Northern Triangle as they were not able to commit to their responsibilities to stop people living their countries seeking asylum in the U.S.
In the view of international relations experts and former diplomats, cutting off the aid would most probably increase the number of migrants heading to the U.S.
According to the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition, comprised of retired diplomats, military leaders and members of Congress, the main aim of these programs is to stop the ''root causes of violence'' and ensure opportunities and security for their citizens.
Do you think that stopping the funding would have a positive effect to the illegal migration?