The Biden Administration decided to immediately discontinue the asylum agreements the previous administration signed with El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras.
U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken announced that the move comes as an initial step in the process of establishing better relationships among the countries in the region.
He said that the decision comes as part of the overall goal to make the migration in the region humane and safe.
Blinken further explained that, even though it stops the discouragement of immigration, the termination of the agreements should not be interpreted as the opening of the southern U.S. border.
He claimed that the U.S. remains the country the laws of which are directed toward the protection of its citizens and that each person who opts to come to the U.S. without following the procedure is putting herself or himself in a potentially dangerous situation.
What was Trump’s agreement about?
The agreements between the Trump Administration and the governments of three Latin American countries were signed in 2019.
They ordered asylum seekers to try to obtain legal residence in any of these three Latin American countries before applying for asylum in the U.S.
Yet, the agreements with Honduras and El Salvador never came into effect while the deal with Guatemala had to be paused in March last year due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The decision to revoke Trump’s deals present one of the many steps taken to abandon the anti-immigration course of the previous administration.
Other measures include the ending of a travel ban against several countries with the Muslim majority, the creation of the task force to reunite the families separated at the southern U.S. border, and allowing more refugees to come to the U.S. on the annual basis.
Biden wants almost 10 times more refugees than Trump
Regarding the third policy, it is worth remembering that Trump set a cap of just 15,000 people for the last fiscal year of his office.
This has been the lowest number of people allowed to legally come to the U.S. since the introduction of the Refugee Act in 1980.
The Biden Administration plans to dramatically increase the cap to 125,000 during the next fiscal period starting from October 1st.
Compared to this and other policies that are about to be launched by the new president, the abolition of the agreements with three Latin American countries will likely have a much lesser effect on immigration to the U.S. since most of the time these agreements were not put into practice.