Rep. Malliotakis: Biden's Plans for Northern Triangle Funding Concerning Rep. Nicole Malliotakis, R-N.Y., speaks during a House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis hearing on April 15, 2021, on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. (Susan Walsh-Pool/Getty Images)
By Sandy Fitzgerald | Friday, 30 April 2021 02:14 PM
President Joe Biden's plans to send hundreds of millions of dollars to the Northern Triangle countries in Central America to improve conditions and stem the flow of migrants heading to the United States is concerning, Rep. Nicole Malliotakis said Friday, two days after she stopped the president on the House floor to tell him he needs to visit the border.
"It looks like he is looking to give hundreds of millions of our taxpayer money to these countries, many that are corrupt," the New York Republican said on Fox News' "America's Newsroom." "If you look at Honduras, one of the senior officials was just convicted in a New York court for drug trafficking and now there are implications the president of Honduras may have been involved."
Such matters are a "much bigger issue that really needs the attention of the president of the United States," said Malliotakis. "As a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, we've been working very diligently to try to make some sense and present this to the administration."
On Monday, Vice President Kamala Harris unveiled an additional $310 million in aid to Central America after a virtual meeting with Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei. The two countries agreed to work together to control migration.
Biden has tasked Harris with leading the United States' efforts with Mexico and the Northern Triangle countries of Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala, to help stem the growing number of migrants from crossing into the United States.
Malliotakis said she told Biden Wednesday that he needs to visit the border because "he needs to see what I saw and what we heard a couple of weeks ago from our Customs and Border Patrol agent."
Biden also needs to support border agents who are doing their jobs, because they "feel that they have been abandoned," the congresswoman added.
"Drug cartels are taking over the southern border and diverting the CBP's attention with the migrant flow of 175,000 individuals per month, as they are being distracted with paperwork and overseeing the facilities and watching the children that have come unaccompanied the cartels are operating in nefarious activities over the open and porous parts of our border," said Malliotakis. "It is a dangerous situation, a national security issue and so I urged the president to go there himself to speak with the CBP."
Malliotakis said Biden told her that the administration is working on the situation and that he would call her, but the White House counsel called her on Thursday.
"I explained further why I felt it was necessary for the president to go firsthand to see this," she said.