Ben Cardin: Closing U.S.-Mexico border ‘makes no sense’

April 1, 2019

Sen. Ben Cardin said President Trump’s call for closing the U.S.-Mexico border to address the immigration crisis ‘makes no sense.’

“Closing off the border makes no sense at all,’” the Maryland Democrat said Monday on CNN’s “Newsroom.” “We need Mexico’s cooperation to work with us and cutting off the border just tells Mexico we’re doing it alone.”

Mr. Cardin said Mr. Trump’s decision to cut aid to Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador, where a majority of migrants fleeing gang violence and weak economies come from, was “counterproductive.”

“Cutting off aid to the countries of the northern triangle in Central America is against our national security interests,” he said. “Our aid is helping that country develop stability to deal with their gang violence, to deal with their drug trafficking.

“It’s in our national security interest to improve the conditions in these countries so that there will be less individuals who are going to attempt to leave to come to our country, so it’s counterproductive for us to cut off the aid,” Mr. Cardin said.

Mr. Trump told reporters Friday he had already ended payments to Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.

“No money goes there anymore,” he said.

The State Department announced they were following through with Mr. Trump’s calls foraid to the three countries, referred to as the “Northern Triangle,” to be discontinued.

“At [Secretary Mike Pompeo’s] instruction, we are carrying out the President’s direction and ending [fiscal year] 2017 and FY 2018 foreign assistance programs for the Northern Triangle,” a State Department spokesperson told ABC News Saturday. “We will be engaging Congress as part of this process.”