On Tuesday morning, the president threatened to halt aid if Honduras did not stop a caravan of up to 3,000 Honduran migrants heading to the U.S.-Mexico border. The caravan had already entered Guatemala on Monday.
If past caravans from Central America serve as an indicator, however, this is probably a bluff. In April, Trump made nearly identical threats to Honduras when a migrant caravan of at least 1,200 approached the border, but the funds continued to flow. Honduras remains a strategic security ally in Central America. The U.S. has stationed troops there since 1954, and spent nearly $100 million in 2017 on securing borders and fighting crime in the country.
The real humanitarian threat is the treatment of these migrants in the hands of U.S. Border Patrol agents. While hundreds of migrants in April were allowed to file asylum claims in the U.S., many more were turned away by Border Patrol agents in a gross violation of their legal right to request asylum. The caravan is currently facing a brutal response from the armed federal police forces of both Guatemala and Mexico.