How Trump’s campaign against Central America could backfire
President Donald Trump has once again threatened to close the border with Mexico and cut off aid to the Northern Triangle countries, a decision that comes with many consequences.
The U.S. President's political campaign against immigration could take new and more dangerous dimensions.
As if it had not been enough to shut the government down for funds for a wall, to have bypassed Congress and declare a National Emergency, and to have collapsed the migratory system thanks to counterproductive radical measures, now Donald Trump intends to break bilateral collaboration programs in the region that, in fact, work.
The president announced last Friday that he would cut economic aid to the countries of the Northern Triangle (Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador) in retaliation for the waves of migration that have saturated the federal agencies at the border.
"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," said the president.
Almost immediately, the State Department announced that it would put an end to foreign assistance programs in the region contemplated in fiscal years 2017 and 2018.
Although it is still unknown how this measure will be implemented, this decision suspends years of collaboration between the countries involved in a fight against violence and focused on development initiatives.
As the United States Global Leadership Coalition explained to CNN, aid programs, far from being a direct transaction from government to government, inject money into private and public aid initiatives in the three countries and address "the root causes of violence to promote opportunities and security for its citizens."
That is to say, the Administration would be resorting to populist strategies and renouncing tactics that can really solve the problem in the long term.
The two fundamental reasons that move the hundreds of thousands of immigrants to try and cross the border between Mexico and the United States are the lack of job opportunities and high levels of insecurity, two problems that could be solved "by working with non-governmental organizations" that provide everything "from food aid to entrepreneurship opportunities for the locals", explained Vox.
The issue, and what least suits the Trump government, is that they are "long-term moves" with results that must be understood in a statistical way.
For example, a study cited by the media found that "the communities in Central America that reduced their homicide rates from 2011 to 2016 also reduced the emigration of children."
Such was the case of El Salvador. The country was once one of the largest sources of migrants into the United States, but today has decreasing emigration figures attributed by some government officials to "the effects of U.S. aid."
The Trump government, on the other hand, prefers a system of "punishment" when it comes to practicing diplomacy.
Given the saturation of detention centers on the border, and the alleged formation of new caravans in Honduras, Trump has also threatened to close the border with Mexico if its government doesn’t do something to stop immigrants trying to reach the United States.
"We will close it for a long time," he said.
According to the Daily Mail, no matter how brief the border closure may be, the cross-border communities from San Diego to South Texas will be severely affected.
Considering that there is an exchange of approximately 1.7 billion dollars per day in goods between the two countries, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has warned that closing the border would be "an absolute economic debacle that would threaten 5 million American jobs."