US ending Trump asylum deals with three Central American nations
Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced Saturday that the U.S. will terminate asylum agreements the Trump administration entered into with three Central American nations.
Under the Trump-era policy, numerous asylum-seekers looking for refuge at the U.S.-Mexico border were required to first seek asylum in El Salvador, Guatemala or Honduras.
The U.S. has “suspended and initiated the process to terminate the Asylum Cooperative Agreements with the Governments of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras as the first concrete steps on the path to greater partnership and collaboration in the region laid out by President Biden,” Blinken said in a statement.
We will deliver on @POTUS’s vision of safe, orderly, and humane regional migration. As we suspend and terminate the Asylum Cooperative Agreements with the Governments of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, we will take concrete steps toward greater partnership & collaboration.
— Secretary Antony Blinken (@SecBlinken) February 6, 2021
The Trump administration reached the agreement in 2019 as part of its efforts to restrict immigration and reduce the number of refugees entering the U.S. It was never formally enacted between the U.S. and Honduras or El Salvador, according to the State Department, and the coronavirus pandemic has suspended all transfers between the U.S. and Guatemala since last March.
President Biden signed several executive actions relating to immigration last week, including one requiring the State Department to “promptly” weigh whether to inform officials in the other three countries that the U.S. intended to exit the agreement, Reuters noted.
“To be clear, these actions do not mean that the U.S. border is open. While we are committed to expanding legal pathways for protection and opportunity here and in the region, the United States is a country with borders and laws that must be enforced,” Blinken said in the statement. “We are also committed to providing safe and orderly processing for all who arrive at our border, but those who attempt to migrate irregularly are putting themselves and their families at risk on what can be a very dangerous journey.”
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