President Donald Trump issued a stern warning to President Juan Orlando Hernandez of Honduras via Twitter on Tuesday.
“The United States has strongly informed the President of Honduras that if the large Caravan of people heading to the U.S. is not stopped and brought back to Honduras, no more money or aid will be given to Honduras, effective immediately!” the president tweeted Tuesday morning.
Trump is referring to the multiple reports, including one from Fox News, that a caravan of 1,600 to 2,000 migrants had departed northern Honduras on Friday with the intent of entering both Mexico and America.
Per Reuters, the number of migrants in the caravan had grown to 3,000 as they entered Guatemala from Honduras.
Trump’s warning comes just days after Vice President Mike Pence pleaded with South American countries to rein in their citizens.
“Tell your people: Don’t put your families at risk by taking the dangerous journey north to attempt to enter the United States illegally,” said Pence according to the Associated Press.
Police at the Guatemalan border tried to stop the migrants, according to the AP, but ultimately let them through when the migrants refused to return.
Now it appears the task has befallen Trump himself. The president has long madeimmigration policies one of his top priorities, so it’s hardly a surprise he’s taking a proactive approach to this caravan.
While Trump will undoubtedly face resistance from the unhinged left regarding his Twitter ultimatum, the president has all the leverage in this case.
According to USAID, the United States has given more than $300 million in aid to Honduras between 2016 and 2017. And 2017 is still considered a “partially reported year,” so that figure could be even larger.
That’s a lot of money, especially for a nation as impoverished as Honduras. Trump has proven time and time again throughout his presidency that his threats are never empty. With so much aid at stake, Honduras would have to think long and hard about not doing something about the migrant caravan.
As the AP notes, Honduras is already in rough shape even with all of that aid from America. About 65 percent of the country is poor, with many of its citizens getting by on just a dollar or two a day. On top of that, Honduras has been the world leader in homicide rates in recent years.
Looking at that, there’s a part of me that almost wants to commiserate with people wanting to leave. Honduras sounds like a legitimate nightmare for many of its citizens.
But there’s a right way and a wrong way to do things. Illegally crossing the border is the wrong way of escaping the impoverished Honduras.