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The Department of Homeland Security Acting Secretary, Kevin McAleenan, recently signed a new agreement with El Salvador to further reduce asylum abuse and increase collaboration between the United States and the Northern Triangle country.
The new pact is a promising move that will likely contribute to a further reduction in apprehensions at the southern border. El Salvador remains a large contributor of illegal immigration into the United States, with the vast majority of MS-13 gang members originating from there. Below are some key components of the letter of intent:
- Increases sharing of biometric data from local Salvadoran law enforcement to U.S. officials
- Expands economic development in El Salvador
- Intensifies focus on border security
- Prioritizes countering domestic gangs
- Reforms asylum protections for Salvadorans
If El Salvador fully commits to these promises, the southern border will see much needed improvements in the upcoming year. The number of Salvadorans reaching the U.S. border is on pace to drop by 60 percent since Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele took office in June, but more work remains to be done.