Jul 26, 2019 - Politics

Guatemala signs “safe third country” asylum deal after Trump threats

Acting U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin McAleenan and Interior Minister of Guatemala Enrique Degenhart sign "safe third country" agreement in Oval Office. Photo: Alex Wong / Staff/Getty Images

Guatemala signed a “safe third country“ agreement with the Trump administration on Friday, Reuters reports.

Why it matters: Through the deal, Guatemala is agreeing to take in more Central American asylum seekers — an effort to slow migration to the U.S.

Last week, Guatemala‘s Constitutional Court ruled the nation could not sign the agreement without approval from the Guatemalan Congress. Trump responded with a tweet, threatening a migrant ban, tariffs, remittance fees or “all of the above.”

  • Trump told reporters on Friday that the deal would give U.S. farms easier access to workers.

Go deeper: Guatemala unveils measures to crack down on migrants traveling to U.S.

What's next

Guatemala's president-elect: Migrant deal with U.S. won't work

Guatemala's President-elect Alejandro Giammattei during an interview in Guatemala City on Monday. Photo: Johan Ordonez/AFP/Getty Images

The current Guatemalan government's "safe third country" asylum agreement with the Trump administration won't work because Guatemala doesn't have the resources, President-elect Alejandro Giammattei told AP in an interview published Wednesday.

"In order to be a safe country, one has to be certified as such by an international body, and I do not think Guatemala fulfills the requirements to be a third safe country. That definition doesn’t fit us."
— Guatemala's President-elect Alejandro Giammattei to AP
Go deeperArrowAug 14, 2019 - Politics

Guatemalan election could upend Trump’s migration deal

President-elect Alejandro Giammattei speaking to press in Guatemala City. Photo: Fabricio Alonzo/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The surprise victory of Alejandro Giammattei in Guatemala's runoff presidential election on Sunday could throw a central plank of Trump’s migration strategy into doubt.

The big picture: Giammattei campaigned on improving security, boosting economic growth, promoting socially conservative values and fighting corruption, though he opposes the renewal of a UN–backed anti-corruption commission. He said he will seek to amend the immigration deal that outgoing President Jimmy Morales signed with President Trump, which he has called “not right for the country.”

Go deeperArrowAug 12, 2019 - World

Guatemala elects conservative Alejandro Giammattei president

Guatemala's new president, Alejandro Giammattei, delivers a speech in Guatemala City on Saturday. Photo: Johan Ordonez/AFP/Getty Images

Guatemala’s electoral tribunal declared conservative Alejandro Giammattei the presidential election winner in a landslide victory Sunday, Reuters reports — but voter turnout was low.

Why it matters: Giammattei inherits an unpopular deal reached with the Trump administration by outgoing President Jimmy Morales, who agreed to make Guatemala a so-called safe third country for migrants, despite its high levels of poverty and violence, Reuters notes.

Go deeperArrowAug 12, 2019 - Politics