US Signs Immigration Deal With Guatemala to Put 'Smugglers Out of Business'

US Signs Immigration Deal With Guatemala to Put 'Smugglers Out of Business'

President Donald Trump inked an agreement Friday with Guatemala to designate the Central American nation as a "safe third country" that will take in many asylum seekers who would otherwise stream toward the United States.

Trump administration officials have been lobbying intensely for months to get Guatemala to accept a sweeping migration agreement amid continued frustration over near-record numbers of Central American families and unaccompanied minors arriving to the us southern border.

Guatemala and the U.S. had been negotiating such an agreement for months, and Trump threatened Wednesday to place tariffs or other consequences on Guatemala if it did not reach a deal.

"They're doing what we've asked them to do".

But Trump, speaking to reporters, described the agreement as such, saying it would "provide safety to legitimate asylum seekers and stop asylum fraud". "All they want to do is impedem" he said.

President Donald Trump spoke to the news media in the Oval Office after officials signed a new asylum agreement that will require migrants to apply in Guatemala before trekking to the U.S.

The president insisted Friday the U.S and Guatemala have a great relationship, despite the frustrations he's expressed with the country in recent months.

Boys are dropped off at the Border Patrol station in Clint, Texas, July 4, 2019. "If they do instead, in the hands of smugglers, make a journey all the way to the US border, they would be removable back to Guatemala".

"We have always been working with Guatemala and now we can do it the right way", Trump said.

If Central American migrants instead "make a journey all the way to the United States border, they would be removable back to Guatemala if they want to seek asylum", he noted. "It lacks the asylum and protection processes required by USA law for negotiation of such an agreement", he said. Kevin McAleenan, the acting secretary, said it was part of a long-standing effort with Guatemala to address migration and combat smuggling.

Earlier this month, Guatemala's high court ruled that Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales could not commit to the deal with the USA side without the approval of the nation's parliament. They called for a protest rally Saturday.

It's unclear if and how the legal challenge has been avoided. The Guatemalan government says the agreement will last for two years, and will be reviewed every three months.

"What the court said, which is a provisional injunction, was basically define the process that had to be followed. define how to do that procedure, and we are going to implement it", Degenhart said.

"Wow! Big VICTORY on the Wall", Trump tweeted in response to the ruling.

In a six-paragraph statement on Twitter, the government of Guatemala made no mention of a "safe third country" agreement, instead referring to it as a "Cooperation Agreement for the Assessment of Protection Requests".

One America's Jacob Demille has details on how Mexico's new hardline policies are impacting Guatemalans who consider seeking asylum in the U.S.

Guatemala, as well to its southern neighbours El Salvador and Honduras, has been struggling to curb the drift of different folks leaving for the US. "It is also illegal".

Democratic Rep. Eliot Engel, the chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, said Trump's decision to sign the agreement was "cruel and immoral". "There are obviously places in Guatemala and in the U.S. that are unsafe, but that doesn't mean it doesn't have a full and fair process".

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