Developments in US-El Salvador relations

Last week the acting secretary of the US Department of Homeland Security, Kevin McAleenan, visited El Salvador.  During his visit, the countries entered into a nonbinding letter of intent regarding areas of future cooperation to reduce the flow of migrants from El Salvador to the US.   Here is the text of that agreement:
RECOGNIZING that coordination and collaboration between the Governments of the United States and El Salvador have increased to new, unprecedented levels, and the Participants seek, within this context of intensified cooperation, to explore bilateral initiatives for the benefits of each country. 
ACKNOWLEDGING the respective roles each Participant plays in mitigating migration flows from and through Central America. The Participants INTEND to work collaboratively and cooperatively, in accordance with their respective national laws and regulations, on the following goals to be pursued without delay: 
1. Support to Border Security and Law Enforcement: Enhance cooperation to strengthen immigration enforcement with the purpose of impeding irregular migration flows from and through Central America by augmenting border security and supporting criminal investigations targeting gangs, human smuggling, and trafficking networks and providing technical support to El Salvador's efforts to establish repatriation capacity. 
2. Information sharing: Supporting El Salvador's efforts to end forced migration, coordinate the use and implementation of a Biometric Data Sharing Program that will allow the United States and El Salvador to automatically exchange in real-time biometric and biographical information on third-country nationals attempting to enter their territory. The program is a critical tool in advancing shared law enforcement and irregular migration management priorities.
3. Building Asylum and Protection Capacity: Recognizing El Salvador's decision to join the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (MIRPS) and using best practices developed by international organizations and the United States, the Participants intend to seek to collaborate on building protection capacity and increase protection options for vulnerable populations. We will work together to enhance the integrity of both of our immigration systems to ensure vulnerable populations are not victimized by smugglers and build asylum capacity through our partnership. 
4. Both participants commit to ongoing dialogue on viable and legal alternatives for Salvadorans in the United States, including current mechanisms, and to work together to address expanding legal immigration from El Salvador to support U.S. business interests, reducing non-tariff trade barriers to promote foreign direct investment, trade facilitation, and customs enhancement.
Copy of the executed letter of intent available here on DHS website

Contrary to some reports in social media, this is not a "safe third party agreement" along the lines of the agreement the US signed with Guatemala, although it is not clear what is meant in the letter by "building asylum and protection capacity."

McAleenan and Salvadoran president Nayib Bukele held a press conference in connection with signing the letter of intent.   In his remarks, Bukele continued his consistent refrain that he wants El Salvador to be a good partner with the United States, and that El Salvador will reduce forced migration to zero by addressing crime and violence and creating economic opportunities.

The full press conference is available on YouTube:

Soon a new ambassador from the United States will arrive in El Salvador.   He is Ronald Johnson, and last week he sent a video greeting to the people of El Salvador: