His tweets come just weeks ahead of the 2018 midterm elections and he has emphasized immigration as a key issue,…
His tweets come just weeks ahead of the 2018 midterm elections and he has emphasized immigration as a key issue, without evidence accusing Democrats of pushing for overrun borders in what appears to be a naked fear campaign aimed at turning out his supporters. Immigration was a key issue in the 2016 presidential race.
Crowds of migrants, estimated to be about 7,500 people on Monday, resumed their long journey north on Sunday into Mexico as part of a migrant caravan originating in Central America.
Currently migrants are at the Central Park Miguel Hidalgo in the center of Tapachula. Organizers plan for them to begin moving north, reaching the northern city of Huixtla, which is about 20 miles north, and resting there.
The President, in his tweets, also made several questionable claims regarding immigration and the caravan. Among them: that “unknown Middle Easterners” are “mixed” in with the caravan, that he would be cutting off foreign aid over the caravan, and that Mexican authorities failed to stop migrants coming from Mexico.
Asked later Monday about his assertion about “unknown Middle Easterners” in the caravan, Trump said: “Sorry, they have a lot of everybody in that group.”
“We’ve gotta stop them at the border and Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador ̵
1; they are paid a lot of money, every year we give them their jobs, “he said.” They have not done their job.
Here are what we know:
Trump tweeted ” criminals and unknown middle easters are mixed “into the migrant caravan moving towards the United States. He called this a “national emergy” (sic).
It’s unclear what “unknown Middle Easterners” Trump appears to be referring to in his tweet, since there have been no reports, in the press or publicly from intelligence agencies, to suggest there are “Middle Easterners” embedded in the caravan.
However, earlier this month, Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales claimed that foreign individuals linked to terrorism were captured in the country during his administration, which began in January 2016.
“We have arrested nearly 100 people highly linked to terrorist groups, specifically ISIS. We have not only detained them in our territory, they have also been deported to their countries of origin. All of you here have information to that effect, “Morales said during a conference on Prosperity and Security in Central America. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
There is no direct link or correlation between Morales’ statement and Trump’s assertion on Twitter.
The Department of Homeland Security did not provide any evidence to support President’s claim about “unknown Middle Easterns” in the caravan when asked for it by CNN on Monday.
A department official told CNN that in fiscal year 2018, Customs and Border Protection “apprehended 17,256 criminals, 1,019 gang members, and 3,028 special interest aliens from countries such as Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nigeria and Somalia. Additionally, Protection) prevented 10 known or suspected terrorists from traveling to or entering the United States every day in fiscal year 2017. “
The Department of Homeland Security did not specify any Middle Eastern countries.
Pressed about the President’s assertion that there are “unknown middle easters” mixed in with the caravan, a state department spokeswoman said they understand there are several nationalities in the caravan and referred us to the Department of Homeland Security for more information.
Trump tweeted that because “Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador were unable to do the job of stopping people from leaving their country and coming illegally to the US,” the United States “will now start cutting off, or substantially reducing, the massive foreign aid routinely given to them.”
It’s unclear where the administration will propose to make the cuts the president appears to be talking about, and CNN has reached out to the White House and the DHS for further information.
However, the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act prohibits the President from withholding – or impounding – money appropriated by Congress.
New York Rep. Eliot Engel, the top Democrat on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, said Monday that his office has reached the Government Accountability Office to ensure that the President does not violate the act.
“Congratulations, Congress – not the President – has the power of the purse, and my colleagues and I will not stand idly by as this Administration ignores congressional intentions,” Engel said in a statement.
During the Trump administration, with the approval of the Republican-controlled Congress, there have already been significant cuts to foreign aid to Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras – the three countries mentioned Monday – and the administration plans to ” data-src-mini=”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/181021110125-01-migrant-caravan-1021-small-169.jpg” data-src-xsmall=”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/181021110125-01-migrant-caravan-1021-medium-plus-169.jpg” data-src-small=”http://cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/181021110125-01-migrant-caravan-1021-large-169.jpg” data-src-medium=”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/181021110125-01-migrant-caravan-1021-exlarge-169.jpg” data-src-large=”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/181021110125-01-migrant-caravan-1021-super-169.jpg” data-src-full16x9=”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/181021110125-01-migrant-caravan-1021-full-169.jpg” data-src-mini1x1=”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/181021110125-01-migrant-caravan-1021-small-11.jpg” data-demand-load=”not-loaded” data-eq-pts=”mini: 0, xsmall: 221, small: 308, medium: 461, large: 781″ src=”data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhEAAJAJEAAAAAAP///////wAAACH5BAEAAAIALAAAAAAQAAkAAAIKlI+py+0Po5yUFQA7″/>