President Donald Trump has utterly failed to make any progress on his promise of making Mexico pay for his nonexistent border wall – so instead he is paying Mexico $20 million to deport undocumented immigrants, The New York Times reports.
In a notice to Congress, the Trump administration said it will send $20 million in foreign assistance funds to Mexico to pay for plane and bus fare to deport as many as 17,000 people that are in Mexico illegally.
Via The New York Times:
The money will help increase deportations of Central Americans, many of whom pass through Mexico to get to the American border. Any unauthorized immigrant in Mexico who is a known or suspected terrorist will also be deported under the program, according to the notification, although such people are few in number…
The plan, which has been debated internally for months, is part of a broader push by the Trump administration to redirect billions in foreign assistance to other priorities. The administration has yet to spend nearly $3 billion in foreign aid, money allocated last year by Congress with broad bipartisan support. Hundreds of millions of dollars meant to help stabilize Syria and support Palestinian schools and hospitals has already been redirected.
While the administration has made several announcements about not spending on priorities Congress intended, it has mostly kept quiet about what it will do with the money. But it has long been frustrated that Congress provides billions for foreign aid while refusing to fund its immigration priorities.
“Congress intended for this money to lift up communities dealing with crime, corruption and so many other challenges, not to expand this administration’s deportation crusade,” House Foreign Affairs Committee ranking member Rep. Eliot L. Engel (D-NY) told the Times. “I want answers about why the State Department thinks it can ignore Congress and dump more cash into deportation efforts. Until then, I’ll do whatever I can to stop this.”
“We shouldn’t be paying another country to do our dirty work; we should actually be fixing our immigration system and helping these countries get back on solid footing,” added Ali Noorani, the executive director of the National Immigration Forum. “It smacks of desperation.”