President Trump was elected on a range of promises to the American people, with controlling our borders being one of his headline policies. In fact, that’s the one that’s dominated his first term, mainly because of the endless funding battles over the border wall. However, the wall isn’t the only tool in the president’s security policy toolbox. He’s also been using diplomacy with the countries illegal migrants actually come from, and while that isn’t getting any more support from the Left, it’s been running a lot more smoothly.
President Trump outraged many leftists earlier this year when he cut off aid to several Central American countries after they failed to take action to stop migrants heading for the US.
- The aid sanctions were imposed after several highly publicized “Migrant caravans” set off for the US border, leaving a trail of violence, criminal activity and child abuse in their wakes. Thousands of people from these caravans ended up in Mexico, and many of them tried to force their way into this country.
- Governments in several Central American countries, including Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras, either failed to take action against the caravans or tacitly encouraged them. In response, Trump cut off US aid to those countries in June.
- Over $370 million in planned aid was diverted, as the president tweeted:
Mexico is doing NOTHING to help stop the flow of illegal immigrants to our Country. They are all talk and no action. Likewise, Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador have taken our money for years, and do Nothing. The Dems don’t care, such BAD laws. May close the Southern Border!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 28, 2019
- Now, all three of those countries seem to have gotten the message. Over the last few months, they’ve been negotiating deals with the US that will radically reduce the flow of illegals.
- International law gives people being persecuted the right to claim political asylum — but it doesn’t give them the right to choose where they claim it. You’re only legally entitled to claim asylum in the first safe country you reach. That law has been overlooked for years; now all three countries have agreed to enforce it.
- Most of the migrants aren’t real asylum seekers anyway; they’re just economic migrants. If they’re stopped in the first safe country they reach, and it isn’t any richer than the one they left, the chances are they’ll just give up and go home. That means they won’t be rioting at the US border.
- Now, President Trump has decided that all three countries are doing their fair share to control the migration problem. This was his announcement last week:
Guatemala, Honduras & El Salvador have all signed historic Asylum Cooperation Agreements and are working to end the scourge of human smuggling. To further accelerate this progress, the U.S. will shortly be approving targeted assistance in the areas of law enforcement & security.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 16, 2019
- In other words, US aid is back on.
- None of this is as newsworthy as the ongoing saga of the wall, but it’s a real diplomatic victory for the president, and it helps put the wall in context — as a last resort. Our real defense is defeating the people-trafficking industry, and that’s what President Trump is achieving.
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