Trump says USA has agreement with Guatemala to restrict asylum claims

Trump says USA has agreement with Guatemala to restrict asylum claims

Trump says USA has agreement with Guatemala to restrict asylum claims

On Friday, US and Guatemalan representatives signed a safe third country asylum agreement, an agreement typically made between two countries that requires migrants and refugees to seek asylum in the first safe country they enter.

But refugee and human rights groups say such an agreement imperils migrants, given Guatemala's risky crime rate and gang violence and lack of a proper asylum system.

He said that as part of the agreement, the US would increase access to the H-2A visa program for temporary agricultural workers from Guatemala. He said other countries would also soon be signing similar asylum agreements with the U.S.

The Guatemalan statement did not say whether it had signed a safe third country agreement, which would make Guatemala a buffer zone to stem the flow of migrants north.

"This is a very big day", he said.

McAleenan noted the USA law that provides for safe third country agreements focuses on process rather than safety. Migrants from Central American countries like El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua would likely have to go through Guatemala before reaching Mexico en route to the United States. It could potentially ease the crush of migrants overwhelming the US immigration system, although many questions remain about how the agreement will be executed.

'We are clear that we have to make changes, and the way to do it is working together with our best ally, ' he said.

Under the deal, he said, Hondurans and Salvadorans who arrive in Guatemala will be 'in a country that has a fair proceeding for assessing asylum claims.

On Tuesday, Trump tweeted that Guatemala had "decided to break the deal they had with us", and threatened sanctions that included a ban on travel to the country from the United States.

Responding to the Guatemalan Constitutional Court decision to block last week's proposed deal, President Morales said on Twitter: "All this jeopardizes the bilateral relationship with the United States that will lead to possible sanctions".

Practically, it means the US will deny asylum requests of Hondurans and Salvadorans who reach American soil unless they have already unsuccessfully applied for asylum in Guatemala. The country's Constitutional Court has ruled that such a deal can not be signed without approval of the country's Congress, which is on a summer recess.

Degenhart acknowledged that his country had not been acting in accord with global norms.

It's unclear how the Trump administration managed to secure the migration deal, known as a "safe third country" agreement, with Guatemala, given that the country's highest court recently ruled its president could not sign one.

McAleenan said the agreement will increase the integrity of the USA asylum process, keep smugglers out of the process, and help those who have legitimate asylum claims to file them sooner. The Guatemala's top trading partner and tariffs on Guatemalan goods coming into the U.S. could devastate the country.

"There are obviously places in Guatemala and in the USA that are risky".

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