Washington D.C., Sep 26, 2019 / 16:42 pm
The Trump administration's freeze on foreign aid to three Central American countries is harming the people who live there, and could ultimately drive an increase in immigration to the U.S., members of Congress heard this week.
An official with Catholic Relief Services testified Wednesday at a hearing held by the House Committee on Foreign Affairs' Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere, Civilian Security and Trade.
The hearing was titled "Assessing the Impact of Cutting Foreign Assistance to Central America." Speakers included Rick Jones, a senior technical advisor for CRS in Latin America; Stephen McFarland, a former U.S. Ambassador to Guatemala; and Juan González, a former deputy assistant secretary of state for Western Hemisphere Affairs.
"Overall, the assistance cut-off is very counterproductive in terms of the Trump administration's own objectives; the cutoff will tend to spur migration, it will weaken efforts against narcotics traffickers and organized crime, and it increases the risk that in the future, more radical political options, such as Chavez' rise in Venezuela, will gain strength," McFarland said during the hearing.