Saturday marked the latest chapter for the Biden Administration in their overall effort to undo the immigration policies of President Donald Trump. Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced Saturday that the Biden administration has suspended and begun the process to terminate Trump-era migration agreements with El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. The Biden administration is withdrawing the U.S. from agreements with these three Central American countries that restricted the ability of people to seek asylum at the southwest border. The move to suspend the Asylum Cooperative Agreements with the three Northern Triangle nations was one of the first concrete steps on the path to greater partnership and collaboration in the region laid out by President (Joe) Biden.
The United States signed agreements with Guatemala in July 2019 and with El Salvador and Honduras in September 2019 that would have limited the ability of some asylum seekers from those countries to claim asylum in the US and would instead have had them seek protection in their countries of origin. Transfers under the U.S.-Guatemala Asylum Cooperative Agreement had been paused since mid-March 2020 due to COVID-19, and the Agreements with El Salvador and Honduras were never implemented.
The President’s vision is to establish a cooperative, mutually respectful approach to managing migration across the region. The Biden administration believes there are more suitable ways to work with partner governments to manage migration. As opposed to the Trump administration stance, The United States will now build on strong relationships and support these governments’ efforts to address forced displacement without placing undue burden on them, especially in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.