Fox Apologizes for ‘3 Mexican Countries’ Gaffe

March 31, 2019 Updated: March 31, 2019

“Fox & Friends” apologized for a headline that incorrectly said, “Trump Cuts Aid to 3 Mexican Countries.”

It was in response to President Trump cutting aid to Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador amid mass migration into the United States. Those countries are located in Central America.

“We want to clarify and correct something that happened earlier in the show,” said co-host Ed Henry on March 31.

“We had an inaccurate graphic on screen … we just want to be clear the funding is being cut off to three Central American countries. We apologize for the error, it never should have happened,” he added.

According to Newsmax, the gaffe was on the air for 30 seconds.

‘Mother of All Caravans’

Trump’s move to cut foreign aid came days after Mexican Interior Secretary Olga Sanchez Cordero warned that the “mother of all caravans” could be coming to the United States from the three Central American nations.

“We have information that a new caravan is forming in Honduras, that they’re calling ‘the mother of all caravans,’ and they are thinking it could have more than 20,000 people,” Sanchez Cordero said on March 27, reported The Associated Press.

Former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson also noted on March 30 that there is a “crisis” along the U.S.-Mexico border, saying that the number of apprehensions has exceeded anything he experienced when he served under former President Obama.

“By anyone’s definition, by any measure, right now we have a crisis at our southern border,” Johnson said during an interview on Fox News.

On CNN, White House chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney said on March 31, “If we’re going to give these countries hundreds of millions of dollars, we would like them to do more.”

“Honduras could do more. Nicaragua could do more. El Salvador could do more,” Mulvaney stated.

The chief of staff said the number of people pouring across the border is “historic,” and he questioned whether U.S. foreign aid even works.

“Why are the people still coming? Why are these historic numbers—again, 100,000 people will cross the border this month alone? That is—that is a crisis. It’s a humanitarian crisis. It’s a security crisis,” he said.

US border patrol agent
A U.S. Border Patrol agent checks the identification of a driver at a highway checkpoint in West Enfield, Maine, on Aug. 1, 2018. (Scott Eisen/Getty Images)

Close the Border?

Trump in February declared a national emergency to secure funds to build a wall along the border. Trump then vetoed a Congress-passed resolution to void his declaration, and the House failed to override it.

Trump on March 30 called on Mexico to use “strong immigration laws” to staunch the flow of migrants.

“Our detention areas are maxed out & we will take no more illegals. Next step is to close the Border! This will also help us with stopping the Drug flow from Mexico!” he tweeted.

Construction workers build a secondary border wall in Otay Mesa
Construction workers build a secondary border wall in Otay Mesa, Calif., on Feb. 22, 2019. (Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images)

Overcrowding?

ICE and Border Patrol have reported there is overcrowding at their detention facilities. Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Kevin McAleenan, explained that two-thirds of the inflow are children and families from Central America who are “almost guaranteed to be released to remain in the U.S. indefinitely” even though 85–90 percent of them will eventually have their asylum claim denied.

He said this is different from the high numbers in the 1990s and 2000s, as “last time we had crossings near this level, they were almost all adults from Mexico who could be swiftly repatriated.”

Janita Kan contributed to this report.

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