US ends deals to send refugees back to Central America

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    Rights groups have long denied the accusations to allow the Trump administration to deport asylum seekers along the US border.

    The United States has moved to end agreements with three Central American nations under which former President Donald Trump’s administration intended to send migrants and asylum seekers back to those countries.

    in Statement On Saturday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that President Joe Biden’s administration was suspended with immediate effect with the governments of Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras.

    Transfers under the US-Guatemala Agreement were halted in mid-March last year due to the COVID-19 epidemic, after hundreds of people were repatriated by rights groups, while agreements with El Salvador and Honduras were never implemented Was.

    The deals, also known as third-country agreements, will each be concluded by the period of notice prescribed, reads Blinken’s statement.

    “In line with the President’s vision, we have informed the governments of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras that the United States takes this action as part of efforts to establish a cooperative, mutually respectful approach to managing migration across the region. Taking, ”he said. .

    Since taking charge on January 20, Biden has taken a number of executive actions to reverse some of Trump’s most draconian and divisive policies, especially as they relate to immigration.

    He Signed executive orders related to family separation on the US-Mexico border on 2 February, and ordered a review of a policy that forced asylum seekers to remain in Mexico as their US immigration claims were processed. Was living

    Biden said his efforts were aimed at “undoing the moral and national shame of the previous administration, which literally, if not figuratively, children have been removed from the arms of their families”.

    Welcomed the change

    The policy change has been welcomed by immigration advocates in the US, who have rejected Trump’s harsh policies on immigration for years as worsening human rights violations and the risks faced by thousands of refugees.

    The orders came just weeks after thousands of Honduran asylum seekers were blocked by Guatemalan security forces and returned home attempting to reach Mexico and the US.

    Migrants have migrated from Central America during the past few years amid growing poverty, political instability and violence in their home countries. Many participants in the most recent caravan called the devastating storm and the COVID-19 epidemic pushed them to leave.

    In his statement on Saturday, Blinken insisted that the suspension of agreements with Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala does not mean “the US border is open”.

    “While we are committed to expanding the legal avenues for security and opportunity here and in the region, the United States is a country with borders and laws that must be enforced,” he said.

    A day earlier, the Guatemalan government welcomed the Biden administration’s decision to end the deal, as well as a “commitment to our country and region”, the AP news agency reported.

    Human rights first look Condemned The agreement between the US and Guatemala states that asylum seekers do not have access to effective security in Guatemala.

    “, As a result, they are effectively forced to give up their asylum claims, and some who have a well-established fear of persecution appear to be returning to their home countries where they are at real risk of serious harm, “The rights group said.

    HRW reported that under the deal between November 2019 and mid-March 2020, the US transferred 939 Honduran and Salvadoran asylum seekers – mostly women and children – to Guatemala. Of those, about 2 percent applied for asylum in Guatemala.


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