US State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus has announced that Washington will be suspending financial assistance to El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, citing rampant illegal immigration from these countries as the reason for the move. All existing aid programmes will be funded as planned, but new ones won't be adopted.
The spokeswoman indicated that the suspension would last until the US ensures that the three countries have taken steps to prevent flows of illegal immigrants.
On the same day, Reuters reported, citing anonymous congressional aides, that the US presidential administration plans to divert $370 million in aid meant for Central American states secured in fiscal 2018 and suspend another $180 million that had been approved for financial aid programmes in fiscal 2017.
The announcement comes in the wake of the US securing an agreement with Mexico that the latter would deploy forces to its southern borders in order to stop migrants from Central American states from illegally crossing the border.
US President Donald Trump has long criticised Central American countries for not preventing the illegal immigration of their citizens to the US. He has also blamed Mexico, since most of these migrants reach the US’ southern borders through its territory.