Biden reverses Trump-era immigration policies that sought to slow COVID-19 from latin America

Biden signed three executive orders, undoing policies of the Trump Administration that strived to curtail the spread of COVID-19 by limiting the amount of countries that could initiate asylum claims in the US.

On February 2nd, Biden signed two executive orders that undo Trump Administration efforts to enforce strict asylum application processes seeking to slow the spread of COVID-19 and to mitigate and cool tensions on the US-Mexico border. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Saturday the administration had notified El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras that it had started the formal process of terminating agreements that had been part of Trump’s effort to restrict asylum.

The agreements, which had been on hold since early in the coronavirus pandemic, required many people seeking asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border to go instead to one of the three Central American countries and pursue their claims there. “The Biden administration believes there are more suitable ways to work with our partner governments to manage migration across the region,” Blinken said in a statement announcing the immediate suspension of the agreements and their eventual termination.

The secretary of state said the administration intends to work with the Central American nations to reduce some of the insecurity and poverty that cause people to flee in the first place while maintaining the security of the U.S. border. “To be clear, these actions do not mean that the U.S. border is open,” he said. “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.”




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