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Guatemala Enters Agreement to Become a Third Safe Country

This past Friday, Guatemala has agreed to become a “Third Safe Country” for immigration purposes, through a cooperative agreement with the US.

The agreement establishes that Nicaraguans, Hondurans, Salvadorans or any other who pass through Guatemala in route to the US must request asylum in Guatemala, and remain there, while the US evaluates their request. Also, the Guatemalan country agrees not to return or expel any applicant or anyone that the US decides to send to Guatemalan territory while the application is in process.

Likewise, the Trump Administration is committed to increasing the access of H-2A Temporary Worker Visas to Guatemalan farm workers.

Under this agreement, the terms will not apply for protection to applicants who are Guatemalan citizens, or those who are stateless, who are residing in Guatemala. In addition, unaccompanied minors may continue to apply for asylum in the US.

It should be noted that the agreement between these 2 countries: Guatemala and the United States, arrives almost two days after a Federal Judge of a California court issued a preliminary ruling against President Trump’s temporary rule, which denied asylum to immigrants if this was not requested in a Third Safe Country.

Finally, it is unknown for now how and when the agreement will take effect.