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Guatemala cracks under US pressure, signs ‘Safe Third’ agreement

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Posted: Monday, July 29, 2019. 9:04 pm CST.

By BBN Staff: After threats of economic sanctions by United States President Donald Trump, the government of Guatemala has signed the Safe Third immigration agreement, despite a constitutional court ruling.

Under the agreement, immigrants applying for asylum in the US will have to do so in Guatemala instead of at the US border. The move is geared towards bringing some relief to the US immigration system, which continues to see large amounts of immigrants from Central America as the economic and political situations worsen in their home countries.

Activists in Guatemala have called for protests against the agreement signed on Friday, July 25, stressing that it was done in contempt of a Constitutional Court order, which barred the government from signing the agreement. Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales said that he would appeal the decision but went ahead of any judicial clearance.

They also contend that the agreement is bad for Guatemala because the country will have to bear the cost of being a “Safe Third Nation,” a cost that they feel could be diverted to poverty alleviation.

 

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