Engel U.S.-Northern Triangle Enhanced Engagement Act Passes Congress

Legislation requires creation of “Engel list” of corrupt and undemocratic actors who will be denied entry to U.S.

December 22, 2020

Washington—Representative Eliot L. Engel, the Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, today lauded Congress’s passage of the U.S. – Northern Triangle Enhanced Engagement Act (H.R. 2615) which he authored and which was included in the omnibus appropriations and COVID-19 relief package. The President is expected to sign the legislation into law shortly.

“My legislation will support the incoming Biden-Harris Administration as it redoubles efforts to support a more secure, democratic and prosperous Central America,” said Chairman Engel. “In particular, it will be impossible to make sustained progress in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras without a commitment from regional leaders to fight corruption and democratic backsliding. My bill requires President-elect Biden to publish a list of individuals from these countries who are engaged in significant corruption and the undermining of democratic institutions and ensure that they are denied entry into the United States.”

The legislation has two main components: (1) It requires the publication of a list of corrupt and undemocratic actors from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras who wil be denied entry to the United States (some in Central America have started to refer to this as the “Engel list”); and (2) it requires the creation of a five-year strategy from the Secretary of State and USAID Administrator on efforts to advance prosperity, combat corruption, strengthen democratic governance and improve civilian security in the Northern Triangle and curb irregular migration.

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