Speed Reads

Immigration

The State Department announced it will no longer send aid to 3 countries in Central America

The Trump administration followed through on a plan to cut aid to three countries in Central America on Saturday, just one day after President Trump threatened to close America's southern border next week.

The State Department announced it would no longer send aid — which estimates predict would total somewhere between $500 million and $700 million — to El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras as punishment for the large amount of migrants leaving those countries to go north to the United States. Trump has accused the nations of having "set up" migrant caravans.

The State Department, however, said it would "engage Congress in the process" of ending the funding, likely signaling that it will need congressional approval to do so.

Per BBC, aid advocates argue the best way to curb migration is to address the root causes in the country of origin — that is, stimulate economic activity and help reduce violence. Adrian Beltrán, a director of citizen security at the Washington Office of Latin America human rights group, told The New York Times that the Trump administration's decision is akin to "shooting yourself in the foot."

Several Democratic members of Congress have already condemned the announcement, such as Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), the chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, who called it "reckless."