Oxfam: US-El Salvador ‘asylum cooperation agreement’ needlessly puts lives in jeopardy

By Oxfam

In reaction to the US-El Salvador agreement that will sent asylum-seekers at the US border to El Salvador, Vicki Gass, Oxfam America Senior Policy Advisor for Central America and Mexico, made the following statement:

“The Trump administration’s ‘asylum cooperation agreement’ with El Salvador is plainly absurd. El Salvador is one of the most violent countries in the world. Sending people seeking asylum at our border to El Salvador needlessly puts lives in jeopardy, and is in violation of US and international law.

The US State Department’s own travel alert for El Salvador states “violent crime, such as murder, assault, rape, and armed robbery, is common. Gang activity, such as extortion, violent street crime, and narcotics and arms trafficking, is widespread.” It is ludicrous to consider El Salvador a safe place for asylum-seekers when the country is not even safe for its own citizens.

Seeking asylum in the US is a right, full stop. Rather than pursue racist and inhumane deterrence policies that risk peoples’ lives and do nothing to address the causes of forced migration from Central America, we urge the Trump administration to instead prioritize tackling the corruption, violence, inequality and climate-related disasters that are forcing people to flee in the first place.”

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