On Friday, President Donald Trump rejected the idea of a summit with the presidents of Mexico, Honduras and El Salvador while persistently calling for these countries to address illegal immigration to the U.S.
He further said that the leaders of these countries understood the effects of his recent move to cut stabilizing aid to the Central American countries.
President Trump’s comments come amid reports of increased apprehensions of migrants at the border by Mexican authorities, which may have been a result of his recent threat to shut the southern border should Mexico fail to address illegal migration.
CNN writes that Trump also reiterated his argument in an interview with Fox News, saying, “No, no, I don’t need a summit. I think we’ve done very well without the summit. They understand we stopped. We’re saving $550 million.”
The President further stressed there has been a greater number of apprehensions since his announcement.
“You see, that whole stream is drying up. They could stop them at the southern border, their southern border. And you look at what’s happening now,” Trump said, referring to Mexico’s efforts to stop migrants from crossing its southern border on their path to the United States.
“They pulled in 1,500, 1,500, yesterday. They brought them back. They pulled in over 1,000 the day before. Over 1,000 the day before that; today, I haven’t gotten the number, but I mean it’s a lot,” Trump added.
He previously said that Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador, known as the Northern Triangle, have not done enough to stop caravans of migrants making their way to the U.S. and would therefore stop aid to them.
“We were paying them tremendous amounts of money. And we’re not paying them anymore. Because they haven’t done a thing for us. They set up these caravans,” Trump noted.
However, experts have warned that cutting violence-prevention and security-focused aid to the three Central American countries would lead to an increase in the number of migrants seeking to reach the United States.