Who forgot to tell the producers of “Fox & Friends” that April Fool’s Day was on Monday and not Sunday? During an early-morning segment of the Fox News show, as hosts talked about Trump’s proposed cut to foreign aid to Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala, the full-width graphic at the bottom of the screen, known as a chyron, read: “Trump Cuts Aid to 3 Mexican Countries.”
The mistake went viral; even El Salvador’s president-elect mocked the channel in a tweet. The chyron seems to highlight the views on immigration and Latin America as a whole of both President Trump and his supporters. Given the Trump administration’s Latin America policy, if we aren’t talking about the “troika of tyranny,” we are talking about immigration; a large chunk of that conversation consists of what Mexico and the Northern Triangle aren’t doing right to stop the flow of undocumented immigrants into the United States.
President Trump’s latest move to end foreign assistance programs for the Northern Triangle as punishment for the mass flow of Central Americans migrants to the U.S. only works to undermine efforts to stop the exodus. As Global Americans‘ Program Officer William Naylor wrote last year when Trump made a similar threat following the migrant caravans, cutting aid would be disastrous for the security and governance situation in the three countries and would likely increase the flow of migrants fleeing violence and corruption. But a new problem also arises. Lack of U.S. involvement and aid in these countries leaves the door open for China to step up its diplomatic and economic presence in the isthmus. Without U.S. assistance, Central American countries might look to China for aid.