The Biden administration is continuing to dismantle the remnants of the Trump administration, announcing just this week that they were ending an agreement the former president made with three Central American countries to restrict the ability for people to seek asylum in the United States.
On Saturday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced that the Biden administration was actively communicating with El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras with their intent to terminate the former agreement.
“The Biden administration believes there are more suitable ways to work with our partner governments to manage migration across the region,” Blinken said via ABC News.
Blinken said the termination does not mean the U.S. is opening its border but it would be looking to increase the number of those it allows into the country.
“To be clear, these actions do not mean that the U.S. border is open,” he said via the report. “While we are committed to expanding legal pathways for protection and opportunity here and in the region, the United States is a country with borders and laws that must be enforced.”
Here’s more, from ABC News:
The Trump administration pushed the Central American nations to accept the agreements as a way to reduce the number of people seeking asylum in the United States. Critics said it amounted to a U.S. retreat from its obligations under international law to help people fleeing persecution since neither of the three countries could credibly provide refuge.
Since the start of the pandemic, the U.S. has been quickly expelling nearly everyone apprehended at the border or seeking asylum under a public health law to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
President Joe Biden signed a series of executive orders Tuesday that ended Trump immigration policies or put them under review. He also set up a task force to reunite Central American families who had been forcibly separated at the border under a zero-tolerance program in 2018.