US suspends asylum agreements with El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras

Why Trump wants to cut aid to El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras

Treaties made under President Trump made it difficult for asylum seekers from the region to obtain asylum in the United States

The Biden administration said on Saturday that it is immediately suspending Donald Trump‘s agreements with El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras in a bid to reverse the previous Republican president’s tough immigration policies..

In a statement, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken noted that the United States «suspended and initiated termination of asylum-prevention cooperation agreements with El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras as first concrete steps towards more remarkable partnerships and cooperation in the region, as outlined by President Biden».

«The Biden administration believes there are better ways to work with the governments of our partners in managing migration in the region», – Blinken said in a statement.

In accordance with the so-called agreements on «safe third countries», imprisoned in 2019 between the Trump administration and the three Central American countries, U.S. asylum seekers from that region must first apply for asylum in those countries.

This policy, part of Trump’s efforts to curb illegal immigration from Central American countries that make up a large proportion of migrants detained at the US-Mexico border, have never been enforced against El Salvador and Honduras, the State Department said on Saturday..

US suspends asylum agreements with El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras

Transmissions under the US-Guatemala agreement have been suspended since mid-March 2020 due to the pandemic, the statement said..

The steps announced on Saturday came after Biden recently unveiled a series of measures to reorganize the U.S. immigration system, including the creation of a working group to reunite families divided on the U.S.-Mexico border and an increase in annual refugee quotas..

In accordance with one of the orders, Blinken was to «promptly consider the issue» about the advisability of notifying the governments of the three countries that the United States intends to suspend and terminate agreements on safe third countries. In turn, the Minister of Homeland Security and the Attorney General should also consider repealing the ruling on the implementation of these agreements..