The Biden administration said on Saturday that it would immediately suspend Trump-era asylum agreements with El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, part of an attempt to undo the harsh immigration policies of its Republican predecessor.
In a statement, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the United States had “suspended and initiated the process of terminating the cooperation agreements on asylum with the governments of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras as the first concrete steps towards greater partnership and cooperation. In the region of Biden prepared. “
The so-called “secure third country agreements”, written by the Trump administration and the Central American nations in 2019, force asylum seekers from the region to first seek refuge in these countries before applying in the United States.
As part of a controversial bid by Trump to crack down on illegal immigrants from Central America who make up a large proportion of migrants arrested at the US-Mexico border, policies were never implemented with El Salvador and Honduras, the State Department said on Saturday.
We will deliver @POTUS ‘vision of safe, orderly and humane regional migration. When we suspend and terminate the cooperation agreements for asylum with the governments of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, we will take concrete steps towards greater partnerships and cooperation.
– Secretary Antony Blinken (@SecBlinken) February 6, 2021
Transmissions under the agreement between the United States and Guatemala have been suspended since mid-March 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, the statement added.
The measures announced on Saturday came after Biden unveiled a series of measures last week aimed at modernizing the US immigration system, including a working group to reunite families separated from the US-Mexico border and another to increase an annual ceiling for refugees.
One of the orders called on Blinken to “immediately consider” whether to inform the governments of the three countries that the United States intended to suspend and terminate the secure third country agreements. It also called on the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Public Prosecutor’s Office to decide whether to repeal a rule for the implementation of the agreements.