Flags of United States and El Salvador (© Shutterstock)
(© Shutterstock)

The United States and El Salvador signed a bilateral agreement to discourage dangerous irregular migration and “combat transnational criminal organizations, strengthen border security, and reduce human trafficking and smuggling,” the Department of Homeland Security announced.

This cooperative agreement will increase protection options closer to home for vulnerable populations, and ensure vulnerable populations are not victimized by smugglers, according to the statement. Once it enters into force, the agreement will further expand protection systems in the region.

The agreement will allow the two countries to strengthen their “robust partnership” and address “the issue of irregular migration in a joint and humane way that will contribute to greater prosperity and security of the region.”

The El Salvador agreement comes on the heels of the July 26 Asylum Cooperation Agreement signed by the United States and Guatemala. The United States and Honduras signed a similar cooperation agreement on September 25. While each country has its own distinct circumstances, each agreement seeks to expand cooperation and discourage the need for dangerous irregular migration throughout the region.

Beyond the September 20 cooperative agreement, El Salvador will deepen its cooperation with the United States to address the underlying issues of irregular migration.