Oct 25, 2018 Editorial Comments Off on THOUSANDS MARCHING TO AMERICA
As thousands of migrants from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador marched north in a caravan in the burning heat of the sun and with little or no food or water, their hope is to enter the United States.
However, President Trump has declared the estimated 7,000 to 10,000 Central America migrants unwelcome and said that full efforts are being made to stop the lawlessness and onslaught of the illegal aliens entering the U.S. The U.S. bound caravan of exhausted migrants has defied threats by President Trump to close the U.S.-Mexico border as well as warnings from the Mexican government that they risked deportation if they cannot justify seeking asylum.
As reported, Mexico’s President elect, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, is supporting the migrants who are fleeing a toxic mix of violence, crime, torture, threats to their lives, poverty and rampant corruption in their countries. So far, Mexican officials have issued work permits to some 1000 migrants who entered the official Mexico border crossing, but has deported almost 3,000.
Mexican officials have also urged the migrants not to migrate in a lawful way and not to place their children in such extremely dangerous situations.
Since the formation of the convoy more than a week ago, President Trump has threatened to station American troops at the U.S.-Mexican border to prevent them from entering the U.S. He also threatened to halt the more than half billion U.S. aid to Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador which he blamed for the exodus of illegal migrants to the U.S.
However, the Honduran and Guatemala governments have blamed their political opponents for encouraging the migrants, mostly supporters of the government to leave their countries. It seems that President Trump is also pressuring Mexico to stop the migrants at its border.
But Mexico which had refused Trump’s demands to pay for a border wall between the two countries is caught between a rock and a hard place. It is walking a fine line between showing solidarity with the Central American migrants and responding to the President’s demands to control its borders and turn them back.
President Trump’s threat to cut off aid from the aforementioned countries is contrary to the beliefs of several previous U.S. administrations which have seen aid programs as part of the U.S. efforts to help stabilize the countries of Central America and stem the flow of migrants to the United States.
Data from the U.S. State Department have shown that in 2016, the Obama administration provided $147.6 million in aid to Guatemala, $101 million to Honduras and $90 million to El Salvador.
However, when President Trump came to office in 2017, he immediately reduced aid to Guatemala to $69 million, $60 million for Honduras and $46 million for El Salvador—a reduction of almost 40 percent for all three countries.
Mr. Trump’s threat to cut aid to those countries ignores the fact that the Constitution entrusted the U.S. Congress with the power of the purse, which means that it is Congress and not the President that approves foreign assistance to the countries in Central America to address the root causes of why people want to migrate.
Despite President Trump’s attempts to declare the migration issue an urgent national emergency for the U.S., it could take several weeks before the caravan, which is more than 1,100 miles away reaches the U.S. border. However, the Mexican government hopes to disperse most of the migrants by returning them to their countries.
Others who are qualified for asylum in Mexico will be allowed to stay.
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