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Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras Sign Agreements with the United States on Asylum

Migrantes México Centro América

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Washington, 30 Dec (EFE).

The government of President Donald Trump managed to get El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras to sign agreements allowing the return to those countries of migrants who cross their territories to reach the United States and seek asylum.

These agreements are similar to the Migrant Protection Memorandum (MPP), a program initiated by the Trump administration in 2019, under which tens of thousands of people who arrived at the southern border of the United States seeking asylum have been returned to Mexico, where they must wait for their applications to be processed.

“Under President Trump’s leadership, the Department of Homeland Security is using every tool at its disposal to mitigate the humanitarian and security crisis at the border,” Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf said in a statement.

The agreements were initially signed in 2019, and the Guatemala compact began to be implemented in September. Implementation of the agreements with El Salvador and Honduras was delayed until this month.

“The implementation of the agreements will strengthen the overall asylum capacity in the Northern Triangle countries and throughout the region, allowing asylum seekers to access protection closer to home,” Wolf added.

The signing of the agreements – known as ACA – with the three Central American countries will allow for the sending of “certain eligible migrants seeking humanitarian protection to each of the countries” with which the arrangement was established.

According to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the four signatory countries “reaffirmed their commitment to combat mutual threats, including international organizations and gangs, migrant smugglers, and drug and human trafficking.

U.S. Vice President-elect Kamala Harris has criticized these agreements, but President-elect Joe Biden, who will take office January 20th, has not indicated plans to repudiate or replace the cooperation pacts on asylum.

The Democratic Party’s governing platform states that the Biden administration will seek to “expand efforts to register and process refugees for resettlement in the United States and other countries.”

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