According to CNN, the U.S. is cutting off aid to El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, the three countries that are otherwise known as the Northern Triangle. This comes a day after Trump said that they “set up” migrant caravans for entry into the U.S.
"We were paying them tremendous amounts of money. And we're not paying them anymore. Because they haven't done a thing for us. They set up these caravans," Trump said.
"At the Secretary's instruction, we are carrying out the President's direction and ending FY 2017 and FY 2018 foreign assistance programs for the Northern Triangle," a State Department spokesperson said. "We will be engaging Congress as part of this process."
The Honduras government responded blaming U.S. “contradictory policies” for the issue.
Honduran officials said they would continue working with Guatemala and El Salvador while “internal discrepancies over regional cooperation are resolved.”
Further, Honduran officials emphasized the “solid and positive” relationship their country has with the U.S. They said that the relationship was strengthened when U.S. national security adviser John Bolton met Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez at the White House this past week.
Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirsjen Nielsen signed a regional compact agreement with the Northern Triangle on Wednesday. The aim of the agreement is to prevent irregular migration, combat criminal organizations, and help U.S. border security.
In October, President Trump tweeted that the Northern Triangle countries "were not able to do the job of stopping people from leaving their country and coming illegally to the US."
Yet, experts say that cutting off aid will likely increase the number of migrants leaving the Northern Triangle and going toward the U.S. Aid programs in the three countries work to address the “root causes of violence” to “promote opportunity and security for their citizens.”