While spending at a 75th anniversary celebration held by the National Federation of Independent Businesses on Tuesday, President Donald Trump said he wants to cut foreign aid to countries that “abuse” the U.S. by sending “not their best” people. Describing his proposal as a bipartisan approach, Trump said, "I'm going to go very shortly for authorization that when countries abuse us by sending their people up — not their best — we're not going to give any more aid to those countries." The president said, “Why the hell should we?” and described the move as a "responsible, common-sense approach that all lawmakers should embrace, Democrats and Republicans."

Trump told his listeners, "We want to end the border crisis by finally giving us the legal authorities and the resources to detain and remove illegal immigrant families all together and bring them back to their country." The president said, "Now think of all that aid that we give to some of these countries," and added, "Well, I'm going to go very shortly for authorization that when countries abuse us by sending their people up — not their best — we're not going to give any more aid to those countries."

During his remarks at the conference, Trump blasted the media for appearing to help human traffickers by broadcasting “fake” news. His proposal to cut foreign aid came while Democrats and other critics have criticized his "zero-tolerance" policy on prosecuting illegal border crossers. The policy has caused the separation of nearly 2,000 migrant children from their parents between April 19 and the end of May, according to the Department of Homeland Security.

Trump said, “We don’t want people pouring into our country. We want them to come in through the process, through the legal system, and we want ultimately a merit-based system where people come in based on merit.” Trump said, “Keep in mind, those who apply for asylum legally at ports of entry are not prosecuted. The fake news media back there doesn’t talk about that.” He reiterated that he wants to promote immigration “based on merit.”

Trump’s speech appeared to lay down a threat to rescind foreign aid than his previous statements. In April, the president suggested that his administration would halt foreign aid to Honduras in the wake of reports that a "caravan" of migrants from that country was headed north through Mexico. He tweeted, “The big Caravan of People from Honduras, now coming across Mexico and heading to our “Weak Laws” Border, had better be stopped before it gets there. Cash cow NAFTA is in play, as is foreign aid to Honduras and the countries that allow this to happen. Congress MUST ACT NOW!” In December, he suggested that countries that vote against the U.S. will see aid restrictions. "We're watching" the votes of "nations that take our money and then they vote against us at the Security Council," Trump said at the time.

While Trump had earlier signaled support for two Republican immigration bills that are currently being considered in Congress, at the NFIB conference he appeared to waver. "We have a House that's getting ready to finalize an immigration package that they're going to brief me on later and that I'm going to make changes to," the president said at the event. "We have one chance to get it right. We might as well get it right or let's just keep it going."

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) told Breitbart radio on Tuesday that an immigration bill being promoted by outgoing House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) departs from Trump’s campaign promises. Jordan said that Ryan’s legislation does not deal with “sanctuary cities, doesn’t have E-Verify, and frankly doesn’t deal with the chain migration” as does the bill being offered by Judiciary Committee Chair Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA). Jordan also warned that Ryan’s bill would also expand the number of illegal aliens benefiting from the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals (DACA) -- which was an executive order issued by President Barack Obama -- that has allowed hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens to remain in the U.S. with work permits. Of Ryan’s bill, Jordan said, “It has some good things in it but I don’t think it’s consistent with the full mandate that we told the American people we were going to do if they made Donald Trump and put Republicans in control of the House and the Senate.”



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Spero News writer Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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