(CNN)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 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.
Blinken noted in his statement that “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 top US diplomat called the move to suspend the Asylum Cooperative Agreements with the three Northern Triangle nations “the first concrete steps on the path to greater partnership and collaboration in the region laid out by President (Joe) Biden.”
“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 in a statement.
“The Biden administration believes there are more suitable ways to work with our partner governments to manage migration across the region,” he said.
“The United States will build on our 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. Our approach will continue to provide support for their national action plans under the Comprehensive Regional Protection and Solutions Framework through international humanitarian partners.”