President Donald Trump says the US will begin “cutting off, or substantially reducing” aid to three Central American nations over a migrant caravan heading to the US southern border.
“Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador were not able to do the job of stopping people from leaving their country and coming illegally to the US,” Mr Trump tweeted.
The three countries received more than $US500 million ($704 million) combined in funding from the US in the fiscal year 2017.
Mr Trump has raised the alarm over the group of thousands of migrants travelling through Mexico to the US.
“Sadly, it looks like Mexico’s Police and Military are unable to stop the Caravan,” he tweeted Monday.
“I have alerted Border Patrol and Military that this is a National Emergy (sic).”
White House officials could not immediately provide details.
Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador were not able to do the job of stopping people from leaving their country and coming illegally to the U.S. We will now begin cutting off, or substantially reducing, the massive foreign aid routinely given to them.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 22, 2018
On Sunday the caravan of thousands of mostly Honduran migrants crowded into the Mexican border city of Tapachula, setting up impromptu camps in public spaces under a heavy rain.
Mr Trump earlier said on Twitter that the migrants would not be allowed into the United States.
“The Caravans are a disgrace to the Democrat party. Change the immigration laws NOW!” he posted.
Mexican President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has suggested that the United States, Canada and Mexico work out a joint plan for funding development in the poor areas of Central America and southern Mexico.
The migrant caravan, which started out more than a week ago with less than 200 participants, has drawn additional people along the way.
It swelled to an estimated 5000 on Sunday after many migrants found ways to cross from Guatemala into southern Mexico as police blocked the official crossing point.
In interviews along the journey, migrants have said they are fleeing widespread violence, poverty and corruption in Honduras.
The caravan is unlike previous mass migrations for its unprecedented large numbers and because it largely began spontaneously through word of mouth.