Monday, May 17, 2021

Biden administration takes steps to dismantle Trump-era asylum agreements

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“In line with the President’s vision, we have notified the Governments of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras that the United States is taking this action as efforts to establish a cooperative, mutually respectful approach to managing migration across the region begin,” Blinken said.

The agreement with Guatemala was already in effect, but transfers under that agreement have been paused since mid-March due to the coronavirus pandemic, Blinken said in the statement. The agreements with El Salvador and Honduras were never fully implemented.

“The Biden administration believes there are more suitable ways to work with our partner governments to manage migration across the region,” Blinken said.

President Joe Biden on Tuesday signed three immigration-related executive orders with one focused on revamping the U.S. asylum system and how it handles migrants arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border. The others called for policy reviews, planning and recommendations on next steps, so Blinken’s announcement is one of the first specific changes to take place.

The executive order set into motion Blinken’s move. It specified the Secretary would “promptly consider” whether to notify the governments of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras that the U.S. was planning to end the agreements. It also specified that the DHS secretary and the attorney general would review and determine whether to rescind the rule that implements the asylum cooperative agreements.

The same order directed Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to review the Migrant Protection Protocols program, which has forced asylum seekers to remain in Mexico while they wait for their U.S. court proceedings.

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