El Salvador’s Election Just Complicated Biden’s Migrant Plan

El Salvador’s Election Just Complicated Biden’s Migrant Plan
Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele in San Salvador, El Salvador, Feb. 17, 2021 (AP photo by Salvador Melendez).

One of the areas where U.S. foreign and domestic policies intersect most tangibly, as we saw over the past four years during Donald Trump’s administration, is on immigration and refugees. President Joe Biden campaigned on a promise to launch a sharply different strategy to deal with migrants and refugees, especially at the border with Mexico, but now his plans are facing new headwinds.

In a legislative election last weekend in El Salvador, President Nayib Bukele’s party, New Ideas, along with his ally the Grand Alliance for National Unity, won a landslide victory. Early results suggest that Bukele’s bloc will enjoy a parliamentary supermajority, controlling at least two-thirds of the chamber’s seats, enough to enact legislation and install just about any loyalist he chooses in positions of power.

The outcome is problematic for Biden because Bukele has already shown troubling signs of disdain for democratic norms—and strengthening democracy and the rule of law is one of the key elements of Biden’s ambitious plan to reduce immigration from Central America by addressing its root causes.

Keep reading for free!

Get instant access to the rest of this article by submitting your email address below. You'll also get access to three articles of your choice each month and our free newsletter:

Or, Subscribe now to get full access.

Already a subscriber? Log in here .

What you’ll get with an All-Access subscription to World Politics Review:

A WPR subscription is like no other resource — it’s like having a personal curator and expert analyst of global affairs news. Subscribe now, and you’ll get:

  • Immediate and instant access to the full searchable library of tens of thousands of articles.
  • Daily articles with original analysis, written by leading topic experts, delivered to you every weekday.
  • Regular in-depth articles with deep dives into important issues and countries.
  • The Daily Review email, with our take on the day’s most important news, the latest WPR analysis, what’s on our radar, and more.
  • The Weekly Review email, with quick summaries of the week’s most important coverage, and what’s to come.
  • Completely ad-free reading.

And all of this is available to you when you subscribe today.