USA to Cut Aid to Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador

A Honduran migrant shows the tickets given by Mexican immigration authorities that enables him and his family to cross the border between Guatemala and Mexico in Ciudad Hidalgo Mexico Saturday Oct. 20 2018. Mexican officials are refusing to yield

Growing caravan of migrants pushes deeper into Mexico

"Every time you see a Caravan, or people illegally coming, or attempting to come, into our Country illegally, think of and blame the Democrats for not giving us the votes to change our pathetic Immigration Laws!" he wrote.

Cutting aid isn't as simple as turning off a tap. Those initiatives have broad support from lawmakers, who have already promised to put up a fight should Trump try to make good on his threat.

However, Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY) of the House Foreign Affairs Committee insists that Trump will need to secure Congressional approval to cut aid to foreign nations.

According to the United States Agency for International Development, Guatemala received $249 million in U.S. aid in 2017, while Honduras received $175 million, and El Salvador received $115 million.

El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala all suffer from high rates of poverty and violent crime; their murder rates are some of the highest in the world. Additionally up to 50% of the aid could be withheld if the administration determines the countries have run afoul of anti-corruption provisions. Others lay exhausted in the open air, with only thin sheets of plastic to protect them from ground soggy from an intense evening shower.

Still, the White House has framed the caravan itself as a potential importer of violence to the USA, carrying on a theme it has emphasized in the past two years.

In an interview aboard Air Force One on Monday, President Trump made clear there was no limit to the number of troops he's willing to send to the border to address the growing migrant caravan quickly making its way through hot and humid temperatures in Mexico to the USA border. "Criminals and unknown Middle Easterners are mixed in", Trump said Monday on Twitter.

Senator Jeff Flake, an Arizona Republican, called Trump's claim "a canard and a fear tactic" at an event hosted by CNN in NY. A similar exodus in April with 1,500 migrants reached the USA border, and 250 migrants applied for asylum.

"My goal is to find work for a better future for my daughters", she said.

Trump tweeted, "Sadly, it looks like Mexico's Police and Military are unable to stop the Caravan heading to the Southern Border of the United States". The migrants have begun setting up temporary encampments across the city as they await the rest of the caravan, according to the Mexican government and reporters on the scene. Men and women danced to the sounds of marimba music, celebrating having arrived to Mexico.

Mexican cartels stand to make millions off the caravan-if it reaches the USA border-as they control the human smuggling routes and extract thousands of dollars in fees from each border crosser.

Around 900 migrants - exhausted of waiting on the bridge - resorted to crossing the Suchiate River below on makeshift rafts and police did not intervene as they clambered up the muddy riverbank on the Mexican side on Saturday.

Trump meanwhile kept up his almost-daily Twitter attacks on the approaching caravan, calling it a national emergency, and saying he had alerted the United States border patrol and military.

A Pentagon spokesman, Army Lt. Col. Jamie Davis, said the Pentagon has received no new orders to provide troops for border security.

"I have alerted Border Patrol and Military that this is a National Emergy (sic)". "People have to apply for asylum in Mexico first, and if they fail to do that, the United States will turn them away", he added.

However, the US foreign aid requests for fiscal-year 2019 are scheduled to significantly drop.

"Carol Shields, 75, a Republican in northern Minnesota, said she was afraid that migrant gangs could take over people's summer lake homes in the state", The Times reported.

Roberto Lorenzana, a spokesman for El Salvador's presidency, said his government hopes tensions over the caravan decrease after the US elections. "We also are deeply concerned by the violence provoked by some members of the group, as well as the apparent political motivation of some organizers of the caravan".

Under U.S. immigration law, the the United States can deny asylum if a person can be returned to a country where their life or freedom is not in danger, but only if the U.S. has entered into a bilateral or multilateral agreement that codifies the arrangement.

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