Former U.S. Border Patrol Deputy Chief Ron Colburn said President Donald Trump’s decision to withhold funds from Central American countries is a “rational” move designed to discourage illegal border crossings.
“First and foremost of any government for any nation, it’s incumbent upon the executive office to protect its people,” Colburn said on “Fox & Friends” Wednesday. “So, I think that this is a very rational statement by the president and hopefully Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador will be listening. They can be great partners.” (RELATED: Border Patrol Agent Says A Wall Would Make It Easier For Them To Do Their Jobs)
Trump tweeted Tuesday that the federal government will cut funding to Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador if they allow their citizens to march on the U.S. border.
We have today informed the countries of Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador that if they allow their citizens, or others, to journey through their borders and up to the United States, with the intention of entering our country illegally, all payments made to them will STOP (END)!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 17, 2018
The U.S. Department of State is planning to allocate $65.8 million to Honduras, $69.4 million to Guatemala and $45.7 million to El Salvador for fiscal year 2019, according to Fox News.
Colburn said America should value its relationships with Central American nations, but claimed their governments have a responsibility do more to protect their own people.
“It’s incumbent upon them to also protect their own people, rather than shove them north through Guatemala, El Slavador and Mexico to come to the United States,” he said. “They talk about credible fear. Well, if they’re leaving Honduras because they are fearful of that country, whether the government or the criminal gangs, they go through Guatemala, El Salvador and Mexico before they get to the U.S. How credible is that fear?”
Colbrun said most illegal immigrants are taking advantage of policies put in place during the Obama administration to gain entry into the U.S. without having to go through the normal vetting process.
“Ninety-five percent of those that are arriving illegally between our lawful ports of entry are actually looking for and turning themselves in to United States border patrol agents, because they know — because of previous policies set in place during the Obama administration and certain injunction lawsuits, these people will be released before they’ve been truly cleared of screening for dangerous diseases or criminal records,” he concluded.
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