Honduras President Criticizes U.S. Aid Cuts

On Monday (September 24, 2018), the President of Honduras said that cuts in the amount of aid the US gives to Central America are likely to impair attempts to stem illegal immigration. President Juan Orlando Hernandez told an interviewer he regretted that the Trump administration had scaled back previous US commitments to increase the amount of investment the country has in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras.

President Donald Trump has pledged to see a wall built on the border between the US and Mexico to cut down on illegal immigration, with the majority of undocumented immigrants now caught attempting to illegally enter the US coming from those impoverished and often violent Central American countries.

Hernandez says that the Trump administration had been willing to collaborate on ways to combat the street gangs terrorizing Central America, but less willing to give the region financial support. In 2014, the US promised to give a dollar for every four dollars Honduras invested in the Plan of the Alliance for Prosperity in the Northern Triangle, but that commitment has not been forthcoming, which Hernandez says will have an impact on the idea of dealing with the immigration issue at its roots.

Earlier this year, the Trump administration also announced its intention to end the temporary immigration status for tens of thousands of immigrants from El Salvador and Honduras currently in the US. Hernandez added that a meeting in October with officials from the US, Mexico, and the Central American nations, will determine whether Washington is willing to reconfirm a commitment to the region.