Washington—Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today released the following statement after President Trump announced he would cut off direct aid to El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras:
“The Northern Triangle countries of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras have been plagued for decades by poverty, extortion, governmental corruption, forced gang recruitment and violence against women and indigenous communities. These dangerous conditions have forced more and more families and unaccompanied children to make the long, dangerous journey to the United States.
“Cutting off direct assistance to those nations for judicial reform, anti-gang initiatives and infrastructure is counterproductive to say the least. It will likely lead to more violence and even more emigration, not less. Belittling Mexico and threatening to close the southern border is also not helpful.
“Last Thursday, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen signed a Memorandum of Cooperation with Northern Triangle countries on border security. Secretary Nielsen said, ‘America shares common cause with the countries of Central America in confronting these challenges.’ She was right.
“The State Department, USAID, DHS and other agencies should be doing more outreach to those countries, not less. Assisting the governments and civil institutions in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras will help countless people there and reduce the drive for families and children to look north for a better future.”