Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced Saturday that the wheels are in motion to abandon Trump administration asylum agreements with three Central American countries. President Biden signed three executive orders that will cancel the Trump administration’s work to secure the U.S.-Mexico border, including partnerships with Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador.
Biden is making good on campaign promises to bow to open borders advocates. Blinken stated that the Asylum Cooperative Agreements with the Governments of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras have been suspended and the process to terminate the agreements has been initiated. These agreements required citizens of those three countries seeking to ask for asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border to first seek asylum in Guatemala, Honduras, or El Salvador. Slowing the process was a tool used to ease the crowded conditions at the southern border which overwhelmed border patrol, immigration judges, and other personnel and resources.
We will deliver on @POTUS’s vision of safe, orderly, and humane regional migration. As we suspend and terminate the Asylum Cooperative Agreements with the Governments of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, we will take concrete steps toward greater partnership & collaboration.
— Secretary Antony Blinken (@SecBlinken) February 6, 2021
The agreements the Trump administration reached with the Central American countries didn’t happen overnight. They took many months of negotiations and they were only implemented in 2019. The agreements were not formally enacted between the U.S. and El Salvador and Honduras. The coronavirus pandemic has suspended all transfers between the U.S. and Guatemala since last March. In other words, this is a show by Team Biden in favor of increased numbers of asylum-seekers to point to the fact that they are doing something when it is really little for them to do. It is meant to show how compassionate the new progressive administration is towards illegal immigration. Blinken is playing an odd little good cop/bad cop game here. He’s proudly boasting about undoing agreements that have shown good progress while denying that this is leading to an open borders agenda.
“To be clear, these actions do not mean that the U.S. border is open. 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,” Blinken said in the statement. “We are also committed to providing safe and orderly processing for all who arrive at our border, but those who attempt to migrate irregularly are putting themselves and their families at risk on what can be a very dangerous journey.”
The Biden administration promises to go further than the Obama administration did on immigration policy and continue to undo any policies put into place by the Trump administration. Organizations that center around working for open border policies are very excited. As far as they are concerned, Team Biden is off to a very promising start. Biden’s is a more sophisticated approach, you know.
But it was Biden’s call for a sweeping review of the asylum and naturalization process — along with a pledge to try to address the root causes of Latin American migration — that excited immigration advocates.
“We’re not just rolling back back the Trump policies, which were at best superficial and ideological, but we’re going beyond the Obama administration,” said Thomas Saenz, president of Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund.
“Certainly it presents a much much more sophisticated view of the refugee and asylum issues for the Western hemisphere than we have seen.”
“This is a much more sophisticated view of seeing the issue from the root causes and a recognition that the root causes in the Northern Triangle are in part caused by the U.S.,” Saenz said.
The Biden administration plans to send more money to the Central American countries in hopes of putting a halt to increased numbers of hopeful migrants flooding the U.S.-Mexican border. This never worked in the past but Status Quo Joe is back and determined to not only go back to failed past immigration policies but to ramp those policies up. What could go wrong?
“We’re in a situation now where we can no longer lead with heavy handed enforcement and our approach needs to change, and I think what we’ve seen from the administration is absolutely an acknowledgement of that,” said Jorge Loweree, policy director at the American Immigration Council.
Others argue the policy, which differs from the Obama years, will prove more cost effective than recent border security measures, in addition to doubling as foreign aid.
“Starting a Marshall plan for Central America is a lot cheaper than building a wall or hiring immgiration officers. It can provide jobs and security in Central America that could turn off the faucet for refugees coming to the U.S. instead of building more tubs,” said Domingo Garcia, president of the League of United Latin American Citizens.
Instead of discouraging illegal migration to the U.S.-Mexican border, Biden wants to lessen the requirements for those seeking asylum and building more facilities on the border to house unaccompanied minors seeking asylum. The open-borders advocates say this is only right because, you know, it’s America’s fault that these migrants have to leave their homes in the first place. The Blame America First crowd is back, baby.
From Saenz’s perspective, the U.S. bears some responsibility for having contributed to a militarized Northern Triangle that is now creating refugees.
“We contributed to those conditions a lot, and not just with our drug policy but with our immigration policy,” he said.
“Pretty much everyone that’s leaving wants to get out of that situation because it’s so dangerous, and that’s as true in a war atmosphere like Syria as it is in the violent circumstances of the Northern Triangle.”
It’s as though Democrats and Socialists have learned nothing since the Obama administration. Obama’s executive order on DACA was a driving force for conservative voters and moderate Democrat voters, too. Trump ran on reforming illegal immigration as a top campaign pledge. Democrats are now going back to their past mistakes and shaming Americans who expect our leaders to secure the border and protect America as a sovereign country. It’s deja vu all over again, only worse.