Cruelty, Coercion, and Legal Contortions: The Trump Administration's Unsafe Asylum Cooperative Agreements with Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador   [open pdf - 786KB]

From the Introduction: "Since his first days in office in 2017, President Donald Trump has aggressively exploited the U.S. immigration system to reduce the number of foreigners allowed entry into the United States, and especially to repel refugees, asylum seekers, and other vulnerable migrants in need of protection. [...] One striking example of the effort to eviscerate long-standing American protection policy is the set of agreements the Trump administration signed with El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, the so-called 'Asylum Cooperative Agreements' (ACAs). These agreements follow a pattern of unlawful maneuvers designed to close off legal pathways to protection in the United States. [...] This report examines the ACAs' impact on the lives of refugees and asylum seekers, their tenuous foundation in U.S. law, and their role in U.S. foreign policy toward Central America. The Report is based on information gleaned through Committee hearings, travel to the region, rigorous oversight of the State Department, and consultations with international organizations and human rights advocates--information learned despite the Trump administration's obstruction and efforts to hide relevant documentation. Annexes to this report include previously unpublished written material provided by the State Department to SFRC [Senate Committee on Foreign Relations] Democratic Staff. The report's annexes also include key documents related to the ACAs that the Trump administration refused to disclose to SFRC, ensuring they are now freely accessible to the public. SFRC Democratic Staff has found the ACAs to be alarmingly abusive in every respect."

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U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations: https://www.foreign.senate.gov/
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