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US to restore 'targeted assistance' to Central American countries after migration deal

US to restore 'targeted assistance' to Central American countries after migration deal
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The U.S. will approve some foreign assistance for El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras after the countries agreed to asylum deals with the U.S. 

“Guatemala, Honduras & El Salvador have all signed historic Asylum Cooperation Agreements and are working to end the scourge of human smuggling. To further accelerate this progress, the U.S. will shortly be approving targeted assistance in the areas of law enforcement & security,” President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden says GOP senators have called to congratulate him Biden: Trump attending inauguration is 'of consequence' to the country Biden says family will avoid business conflicts MORE tweeted Wednesday.  

Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoPompeo knocks Turkey in NATO speech: report The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Mastercard - Dem leaders back smaller COVID-19 relief bill as pandemic escalates US to temporarily withdraw some embassy personnel in Baghdad: report MORE on Tuesday also announced the restoration of "targeted" aid.

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He said in a statement that earlier this year he told the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to halt the assistance "until the governments of these countries took sufficient action to reduce the overwhelming number of migrants coming to the U.S. border."

He added that he did so at Trump's direction. 

"To enable further progress in these countries’ efforts, some targeted Department of State and USAID funding will resume at this time," he said. "This funding will support programs that are advancing our joint efforts to mitigate illegal immigration from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras." 

Migrants who had an opportunity to seek protection in Honduras, El Salvador or Guatemala will be returned from the U.S. border to seek asylum or protection in one of those countries under the deals reached this year with the governments of the so-called Northern Triangle countries, according to an administration official. 

The State Department announced in March that it would halt assistance for the three countries.