Safe Third Agreement Guatemala

On 26 July, the United States and Guatemala concluded an agreement on safe third countries. The agreement, which focuses on preventing migrants from El Salvador and Honduras from reaching the United States, obliges those transiting through Guatemala to seek asylum there first. But there is a big problem. Far from a safe third country, Guatemala itself is affected by the violence, poverty and corruption that have driven hundreds of thousands of people to flee its borders. Indeed, last year, more migrants apprehended at the southern border of the United States came from Guatemala than from elsewhere. Instead of alleviating the humanitarian crisis in the region, the new agreement will deepen instability in Guatemala and cause incalculable damage to desperate migrants. “This is one of many deals the Trump administration is denying with countries that are simply not able to keep asylum seekers safe,” said Joanna Naples-Mitchell, a U.S. researcher at PHR. The presumed idea is that asylum seekers should apply for asylum in one of these three countries, despite their total lack of capacity to handle asylum cases responsibly and their generally uncertain conditions.

Due to COVID-19, the United States has temporarily suspended the deportation of non-Guatemalan asylum seekers to Guatemala as part of its “Safe Third Country Agreement” This ruling came after reports revealed that the United States had deported dozens of infected migrants to Guatemala. The United States continues its scheduled flights to Guatemala. The ACA`s implementation rule only provides for a “threshold” check by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) asylum officials to determine whether asylum seekers can be subject to the agreement. [55] The rule does not even provide for a “minimum consultation period” for refugee claimants before screening. [56] All transfer agents interviewed by Refugees International and Human Rights Watch said they were denied useful access to a lawyer while in cbP detention and that they were only allowed to make between one and three hasty, non-private phone calls: Giammattei appears willing to implement the agreement as long as he can obtain certain concessions in Washington. Trump has cut $370 million in aid from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala to stem irregular migration. Giammattei could seek to support job creation programs while aiming to reverse economic sanctions against Guatemala. The new president could see as a “gain” a return to previous aid levels that could allow him to sell the unpopular “safe third country” deal to the Guatemalan people.

Trump announced in July that the United States had reached a safe third-country agreement with Guatemala, although it has not yet been ratified by the Guatemalan government. As part of the deal, the U.S. proposed expanding and streamlining the temporary H-2A agricultural visa program for Guatemalan citizens and vowed to revive what Trump called a “new era of investment and growth.” [43] The Constitutional Court requested the annexes after President Morales appealed his decision to inferior the government from implementing the ACA, but the annexes are not publicly available. . . .