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Bukele agreed Trump's anti-immigrant deal ignoring corruption in El Salvador

The agreement, which was terminated and cancelled by President Joe Biden's administration, recently also did not consider respect for the human rights of immigrants.

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Bukele agreed Trump's anti-immigrant deal ignoring corruption in El Salvador. Foto EFE/Rodrigo Sura

Bukele agreed Trump's anti-immigrant deal ignoring corruption in El Salvador. Foto EFE/Rodrigo Sura

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The State Department on Thursday published the Document of the Asylum Cooperation Agreement signed in September 2019 between former President Donald Trump's administration and Nayib Bukele's administration, which reveals - amongst other things - that Trump had no interest in combating corruption and impunity in El Salvador.

"That was not an issue (corruption) that President Trump was interested in. He  always saw things the way they could best benefit and beneficial him, his presidency, and personally. No wonder corruption for him was never a problem. There is no evidence that Trump would have been a man who respected human rights and institutions", former congresswoman, Ana Sol Gutierrez said. 

The agreement, which was terminated by The Administration of President Joe Biden, recently also did not consider respect for human rights or respect for international agreements, relating to migration or refugee rights, imposing responsibility on El Salvador to takecare of people from anycountry, rejected  by the United States.

"None of the agreements signed between the United States and El Salvador, carried the componente of combat to corruption or subsidiary support for any type of immigrationtask. There was also no human rights approach to these agreements," explains Washington DC attorney Roberto Sarmiento.

Since Chancellor Alejandra Hill signed the agreement on September 20, 2019, President Bukele knew that the eyes of the U.S. government would not be pending on corruption in  El Salvador. The exchange currency of that agreement was the beneficiaries of the TPS; the Salvadoran government unstoppably accepted the cancellation of the immigration benefit for more than 200,000 Salvadoran nationals.

"President Trump never spoke out, because for him corruption was never a problem and that has been the problem. As Bukele has gone down an authoritarian path, taking more and more power for himself, that was not an issue of interest to former president Trump. Bukele is an imitation of a process that Trump had been following," she said.

"Xenophobic" agreement

The agreement document clarifies that the United States could send to El Salvador any immigrant rejected by the authorities of that country. The Salvadoran government could not object to any person sent from the U.S. territory  and also had to ensure the safety of that person and his stability in Salvadoran territory.

Two months after signing, President Bukele tried to retract and said El Salvador was not prepared to honor the agreement. "We have no capacity for asylum," the president said in an interview with CBS. That was not the first time that he has not honored commitments made.

However, the document provided, but not specifically, that neither The U.S. or El Salvador could cancel the agreement, without establishing a mechanism to address the inconvenience and without the United States financially and technically supporting the implementation of the agreement. The only and greatest interest of the Trump Administration was that the migration problem stayed in El Salvador.

"The agreement in case it was mostly about theU.S. security system, focused on Homeland Security, wanted to avoid the figures and statistics of entries and all the income of undocumented people and take jobs away from Mexico," says lawyer Sarmiento.  

Central America would be the first wall of Trump. Guatemala, would be the first major filter that would have to prevent undocumented immigrants from passing through Mexico. While El Salvador and Honduras, they were going to be like concentration camps to keep away from the United States those who tried to reach their border.

"That was a xenophobic approach. The agreement sought to mitigate undocumented migration and take away Mexico's work, the filter itself was Guatemala and I was trying to tell El Salvador and Honduras, that they would have help to mitigate migration, but Guatemala was being given the letter to close the border because it would be the first wall," explains the lawyer.

While the three agreements were in nature to prevent human trafficking and irregular migration, especially from Central Americans, it contained no solutions or proposal to attack migration from its roots, contrary to the approach it had implemented in the eight years leading up to the Trump era, the Obama Administration.


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