More than 30 Senate Dems ask Trump to reconsider Central American aid cuts

A group of 34 Democratic and Independent senators sent a letter to President TrumpDonald John TrumpNew EPA rule would expand Trump officials' powers to reject FOIA requests Democratic senator introduces bill to ban gun silencers Democrats: Ex-Commerce aide said Ross asked him to examine adding census citizenship question MORE Thursday asking that he reverse his recent decision to cut off foreign assistance to El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. 

"We encourage you to listen to members of your own Administration and reverse a decision that will damage our national security and aggravate conditions inside Central America," they wrote. 

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"Since taking office, you have consistently expressed a flawed understanding of U.S. foreign assistance. It is neither charity, nor is it a gift to foreign governments. Our national security funding is specifically designed to promote American interests, enhance our collective security, and protect the safety of our citizens," they added. "By obstructing the use of [Fiscal Year 2018] national security funding and seeking to terminate similar funding from [Fiscal Year 2017], you are personally undermining efforts to promote U.S. national security and economic prosperity."

They argue in the letter that foreign assistance to these countries creates less migration to the U.S. because conditions in those countries improve. 

The Hill has reached out to the White House for comment. 

The State Department said in a statement Saturday that it would halt aid to the countries known as the Northern Triangle at Trump's direction. The president has previously threatened to cut off aid to the countries over the number of their citizens who seek to enter the U.S. illegally through the southern border. 

In the past week, Trump has also threatened to close the U.S.-Mexico border as a way of halting the flow of migrants, but he backed off that idea Thursday, saying he would give Mexico a year before taking any drastic action.

The letter was signed by Sens. 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