This week, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that three Central American nations–Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras–have signed Asylum Cooperation Agreements (ACA) backed by the Trump administration.
DHS stressed the importance of the new agreements.
“This is a historic milestone for the Trump administration, Central America, and the American people,” DHS insisted. “During Fiscal Year 2019, more than 71 percent of migrants apprehended at the U.S. Southwest border came from El Salvador, Guatemala, or Honduras—this ACA agreement confronts illegal migration at the source.”
“Under President Trump’s leadership, DHS is using every available tool at its disposal to mitigate the ongoing humanitarian and security crisis at the border,” said Acting U.S. DHS Sec. Chad Wolf on Tuesday. “Implementation of the agreements will further strengthen the overall asylum capabilities in the Northern Triangle countries and across the region and will allow asylum seekers to access protection closer to their home. I want to thank our partners in Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras for their hard work and leadership to get these agreements across the finish line.”
With the new ACAs taking effect, the U.S. will now “be able to remove certain eligible migrants seeking humanitarian protection to each of the ACA countries” even as the countries will continue to work together to take on some international criminal efforts including gangs, drug and human trafficking and migrant smuggling.
“The United States, Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras pledge to promote economic prosperity, regional security and stability, democratic institutions, and the protection of human rights, for the benefit of all nations involved,” DHS noted.
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