Cutting Aid to Central America Will Drive More Child Migration

April 10, 2019


WASHINGTON, D.C. — President Trump’s move to cut foreign assistance to Central America will contribute to greater violence, lawlessness, and impunity in these countries and drive even more migrants, including children, to come the United States in search of safety.

“The only true way to address migration to the United States from Central America is to deal with the root causes of migrants’ flight, which is the goal of the aid President Trump wants to cut,” said KIND President Wendy Young. “Ending this aid will end any real hope of changing the conditions in El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala that drive people to flee to save their lives. It will push even more children to come alone to the United States.”

Most of the 17,000 unaccompanied children referred to KIND in the last decade have said gang violence, impunity, and lack of protection forced them to leave their communities. KIND has also reported on the widespread sexual and gender-based violence that pushes many to flee.

United States aid to Central America has helped to create specialized courts to prosecute violence against women in Guatemala, fund local violence prevention programming to make neighborhoods in El Salvador safer, and support the Mission to Support the Fight Against Corruption and Impunity in Honduras, an independent body that strengthens the Honduran judicial system’s capacity to address these challenges. These initiatives and many others supported by the United States are helping to address the pervasive violence and impunity that are forcing children to flee these countries.

“Pulling this foreign assistance will put more lives in danger and unquestionably worsen issues at the U.S. border,” Young said.


Media Contacts:
Megan McKenna,, 202-631-9990
Lisa Frydman, Vice President, Regional Policy and Initiatives,, (415) 694-7381