An Asylum Agreement Between US And Guatemala was signed on Friday afternoon. The United State of America has signed an asylum agreement with Guatemala, an agreement that could limit the ability of some Central American migrants to claim asylum in the US.
What Is Asylum?
An asylum is a protection that is granted to foreigners who can provide prove that they have a credible fear of returning to their home country due to very specific reasons that are outlined by US and international law
Who is eligible for asylum
Individuals who are eligible for asylum are those that can prove they’ve suffered persecution or have a legitimate fear of been persecuted in the future, based on any of the following factors:
- political opinion
- membership in a particular social group
The US immigration law covers a person who is granted asylum. Such person is allowed to remain in the US legally without fear of deportation. Such person may also qualify to work in the US, travel abroad and apply for the same asylum status for their spouse or child.
Asylum Agreement Between US And Guatemala
The agreement commits Guatemala to extend asylum to migrants who seek it when they’re moving through the country. This was announced by the President Donald Trump in the Oval Office. According to the acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan, migrants who still insist on journeying to the US to claim asylum will be returned to Guatemala.
If asylum seekers make the journey all the way to the US border through the hands of smugglers, they will be removable back to Guatemala if they wish to seek and asylum claim; McAleenan told reporters on Friday.
The agreement is expected to be effective from August after both government work through procedure steps “in order to ratify and recognize the agreement” he said.
“This is known as a “safe third agreement” by the White House. Though, the Guatemalan government did not mention it in its statement on Friday afternoon. The objective of a “safe-third country” agreement is to prevent some migrants from applying for asylum in the US. However, the agreement seems to serve that function, requiring asylum claims to be made in Guatemala. According to McAleenan, the term “safe-third,” means “not necessarily in the agreement.” He also said that “its really an agreement to collaborate on access to protections for individuals asylum in crossing borders in the region. The Friday’s agreement is seen as a show of cooperation between US and Guatemala, as they’ve done numerous times before on the heels of the President’s frustrations with the Guatemala for not moving forward with a “safe-third” agreement.
The US appeared close to signing a safe-third country agreement with Guatemala earlier this month. But Guatemala president was blocked by the Guatemala’s Constitutional Court from signing the agreement. Here comes the Friday’s agreement after Donald Trump issued a threat to Guatemala with tariffs and remittance fees earlier this week. The US president has been mounting pressure on Guatemala to come to an agreement, even going as far as saying he didn’t believe the country’s court ruling prevented the signing, and threatening “very severe” consequences if Guatemala refuses. “We’re looking at something very severe with respect to Guatemala,” Trump said Wednesday, noting that he already “cut all payments” to Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador.