Salvadoran officials defended its migrants after U.S. President Donald Trump called Central American migrants “animals” and threatened to cut federal aid to countries plagued by transnational crime.
During a session in California last week, Trump promised to cut federal aid to countries hosting violent cartels such as Salvador’s Mara Salvatrucha gang (MS-13).
The Chief of State told Californian border patrol agents, “We have people coming into the country, or trying to come in — and we’re stopping a lot of them — but we’re taking people out of the country. You wouldn’t believe how bad these people are. These aren’t people. These are animals.”
In a statement Thursday, Salvador responded, "We express our firm and total disagreement with the voices that qualify all of our migrants as criminals, since the majority of Salvadorans in the United States are working and fighting people, who give a prominent contribution to the economy of that North American country.”
Salvadoran state officials continued, reminding their northern counterparts that the MS-13 organization originated in the United States and it was due to the increase of deportations that persuaded cartels to set down camp in Central America.
Additionally, Salvadoran military have partnered with the U.S. to battle the war on drug trafficking which has crippled the country’s infrastructure and economy over the last twenty-five years.
El Salvador has observed the terms of the Alliance for Prosperity Plan and emigration has decreased “thanks to the United States” and “its determined support,” while there have been notably fewer undocumented Salvadoran detainees along the border, the statement said.
Lastly, they reiterated their intention to uphold the terms of the Plan, cracking down on illicit migration, and improving the bilateral relationships in a harmonious and respectful manner.