Future US President Joe Biden must immediately revoke migration agreements on asylum claims concluded by his predecessor Donald Trump with Central American countries, says a report published by Democratic senators.
These agreements were signed in 2019 with El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras and are part of the outgoing president‘s policy to curb illegal immigration. They foresee that migrants applying for asylum upon arrival in the United States will be returned to these Central American countries to await a response.
“The Trump administration sees the Asylum Cooperation Agreements (ACAs) as a model to be replicated with other countries around the world. This is precisely the opposite of what must happen,” says the report commissioned by the chairman-designate of the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, Bob Menendez, on Monday.
“Congress and the government must renew our commitment to protecting refugees and asylum seekers in the post-Trump period,” Menendez said, calling the Trump administration’s migration agreements “disastrous” and “shameful”.
According to the report, since the implementation of the first such agreement over a year ago, none of the 945 asylum seekers transferred from the United States to Guatemala have received asylum.
The report considers the treatment of asylum seekers who have been transferred as “degrading” and states that they were “in fact forced to return to their country of origin, Honduras and El Salvador, where many of them fear persecution”.
It calls for a swift suspension of these agreements in order to “restore our leadership to support the right to seek asylum and refugee protection”.
He further considers that these agreements have been imposed on the governments of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador with “coercive tactics” by the White House and the Ministry of Homeland Security.
Following the signing of these agreements, the Trump administration reinstated financial assistance to these three Central American countries in October 2019, suspended in March.
Mr. Trump welcomed the signing of “historic asylum agreements” to “end the scourge of human trafficking”.
By CCEiT (AFP)