Dunea Romero of Honduras plays cards with her son and a friend from El Salvador outside the migrant shelter where they are staying while waiting to hear whether they will be granted U.S. asylum, in Tijuana, Mexico, Sept. 12, 2019.
Dunea Romero of Honduras plays cards with her son and a friend from El Salvador outside the migrant shelter where they are staying while waiting to hear whether they will be granted U.S. asylum, in Tijuana, Mexico, Sept. 12, 2019.

The United States and Honduras signed an agreement Wednesday as part of a U.S. effort to stem the flow of Central American migrants trying to cross from Mexico.

Details of the agreement have not been released, but it comes after two so-called "safe third country" deals the U.S. recently signed with El Salvador and Guatemala.

Those agreements require anyone seeking refuge in the United States to apply for asylum in the first apparently safe country they enter after fleeing their homelands.

A top Homeland Security official told reporters the Honduras deal "will allow migrants to seek protection as close to home as possible."

But advocates for immigrants criticize the safe third country deals, saying they keep migrants stuck in the same violent and impoverished conditions they are trying to escape.

A 2018 State Department report described Honduras as being overrun by violent gangs and drug traffickers who carry out murders, extortion, kidnapping and torture, and intimidate human rights officials, judicial authorities and others.

Honduras President Juan Orlando Hernandez Alvarado addresses the 74th session of the U.N. General Assembly, Sept. 25, 2019.

Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez met with President Donald Trump at the U.N. General Assembly Wednesday in New York. The press was not invited.

U.S. Homeland Security and Honduran officials issued a joint statement promising "increased protection options for vulnerable populations."