When word began to spread of yet another massive “caravan” of migrants working its way north toward the U.S. border from Central America, President Donald Trump placed the onus on the Central American nations to stop the caravan in its tracks or risk losing the U.S. foreign aid they receive annually.
But it appears that El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico either ignored or failed to adequately respond to Trump’s warning as the caravan continues to trudge (and ride) northward. The president announced Monday that he would begin the process to cut off or substantially reduce the “massive” amount of foreign aid those nations will receive in the future.
Trump made the announcement on Monday via Twitter following reports over the weekend of the caravan swelling in numbers to greater than 5,000 migrants.
Mexican authorities were unable to stop the migrants at the southern Mexican border over the weekend — many simply swam or rafted across the Suchiate River and were not detained upon arrival.
“Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador were not able to do the job of stopping people from leaving their country and coming illegally to the U.S. We will now begin cutting off, or substantially reducing, the massive foreign aid routinely given to them,” Trump tweeted.
Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador were not able to do the job of stopping people from leaving their country and coming illegally to the U.S. We will now begin cutting off, or substantially reducing, the massive foreign aid routinely given to them.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 22, 2018
That announcement came just days after Trump had reiterated the threat to foreign aid if the caravan wasn’t stopped prior to reaching the U.S., along with the added threat of a closed and militarized border if the mass of migrants did indeed make it all the way to the U.S. border.
….In addition to stopping all payments to these countries, which seem to have almost no control over their population, I must, in the strongest of terms, ask Mexico to stop this onslaught – and if unable to do so I will call up the U.S. Military and CLOSE OUR SOUTHERN BORDER!..
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 18, 2018
Perhaps emboldened by the progress of the “People without borders”-sloganed caravan, which is currently in southern Mexico and has now swelled to over 7,000 people, a second caravan of over 1,000 Honduran migrants is heading north through Guatemala, Reuters reported Tuesday.
Consequences made clear
Speaking with a gaggle of reporters outside the White House on Saturday, when asked if he was serious about using the military to seal off the border, Trump replied, “I would call in the military, and I would seal off the border. I would close up the border.”
“If that happens, and if that continues to move forward — the caravan we’re talking about, which is I think a man-made caravan, if you want to know the truth. I think some bad people started that caravan,” he continued.
“More importantly, or maybe almost as importantly, you have some very, very bad people in the caravan. You have some very tough criminal elements within the caravan. But I will seal off the border before they come into this country, and I’ll bring out our military, not our reserves. I’ll bring out our military,” the president added.
Even after two years of President Trump making good on his vows to voters, the left still seems to think Trump makes empty threats and impossible promises.
But he has shown repeatedly that he has no qualms about doubling or tripling down on a vow when the left calls his bluff, because — surprise — he’s usually not bluffing at all and is simply saying exactly what he means, a rarity in politicians, to be sure.