President Trump this week once again threatened to cut aid to Central American nations from which migrant caravans are originating. This threat, already contradicted by the US administration’s previously announced plans to work with their Mexican counterparts to improve the standard of living in Central America, is now at odds with the stated objectives of the Commissioner of the United States Customs and Border Protection.
“I think this is a multi-faceted problem that requires a multi-faceted solution,” Kevin McAleenan, the commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), told “This Week” co-anchor Martha Raddatz on the crisis at the southern border.
“We also need to invest in Central America,” he said Sunday. “The State Department’s announcement of an unprecedented increase in aid, I think is a tremendous step forward. Our green shoots of progress, both on security and the economic front in Central America, we need to foster that and help improve the opportunities to stay at home.”
On Friday, President Donald Trump said in a tweet that Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador “are doing nothing for the United States” and that the administration “will be cutting off all aid to these [three] countries.”
CBP has come under increased scrutiny over the past month after two children died in its custody in December, the first such deaths in more than a decade, according to McAleenan.
McAleenan has served as the CBP commissioner since the beginning of the Trump administration. He served first in an acting capacity and was confirmed by the Senate in March 2018. McAleenan previously served as deputy commissioner during the Obama administration, beginning in Nov. 2014.
“Let me go back to Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala … You talked about that aid package.” Raddatz said on “This Week.” “If there wasn’t aid going into there, if that aid was cut off, what would the result be? More problems?”