Original Date AnnouncedSeptember 20, 2019
United States and El Salvador sign an Asylum Cooperative Agreement (ACA) to transfer asylum seekers to El Salvador. According to U.S. officials cited in news reports, the policy, signed by Acting Secretary McAleenan, applies to individuals who passed through El Salvador en route to the United States (see commentary).
[ID #104]Agreement Between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the Republic of El Salvador for Cooperation in the Examination of Protection Claims
Subsequent Trump-Era and Court Action(s)
January 15, 2020
U.T. v. Barr
On January 15, 2020, the ACLU, National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC), Center for Gender & Refugee Studies, and Human Rights First filed a lawsuit challenging the Trump administration’s policies that are resulting in asylum-seekers being sent to so-called “safe” third countries to apply for asylum rather than being allowed to file asylum claims in the U.S. Cross motions for summary judgment remain pending with the court as of Oct. 26, 2020.View Document
**Litigation is listed for informational purposes and is not comprehensive. For the current status of legal challenges, check other sources.**
December 29, 2020
DHS Announces Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras Have Signed Asylum Cooperation Agreement
DHS announces that Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras have all signed ACAs and that all three ACAs have entered into force. The agreements allow the United States to remove certain migrants seeking humanitarian protection to the ACA countries.View Document
Biden Administration Action: Revoked/ReplacedFebruary 6, 2021
DOS Suspends Asylum Cooperative Agreements with El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras
This Biden administration policy revokes in its entirety the Trump-era policy identified in this entry.
On Feb. 6, 2021, the State Department announced that the U.S. had suspended and initiated the process to terminate the asylum cooperative agreements with Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador. According to the press release, the termination of these agreements will be effective only after the notice period stipulated in each of the agreements, but the suspension is effective immediately.View Document