U.S. State Dept. Sinking Trump’s ‘Safe Country’ Asylum Program, Says Guatemalan Official

A raftsman hauls a load of used car parts across the Suchiate River toward Tecun Uman, Guatemala from Ciudad Hidalgo, Mexico, Wednesday, June 19, 2019. The flow of migrants, many by raft, into southern Mexico has seemed to slow in recent days as more soldiers, marines, federal police, some as …
AP File Photo/Rebecca Blackwell

A high-ranking Guatemalan government official told Breitbart News that the U.S. Department of State in that country is working with leftist organizations to allow President Donald Trump’s proposed “safe country” asylum agreement to die. President Trump is seeking agreements with Mexico and Central American countries to help slow the surge of migrants attempting to exploit loopholes in the U.S. asylum system.

A high-ranking Guatemalan government official spoke with Breitbart News under the condition of anonymity about the plans being negotiated between Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales and U.S. President Donald Trump to house so-called asylum seekers who have illegally crossed the U.S. border from Mexico. The proposed agreement would allow asylum seekers from any country to be sent to Guatemala for asylum. The proposal and a meeting scheduled for Monday between the two presidents has been postponed, Breitbart News reported.

“We hope the meeting will happen,” the Guatemalan official told Breitbart News in a phone interview, “but it won’t happen now.” A constitutional court in Guatemala placed an injunction against President Morales’ government from entering into the agreement, Sara Carter reported. “The court has acted against the constitution,” the Guatemalan official continued. He explained the Guatemalan courts are packed with leftist activists.

The official also blamed the U.S. State Department in Guatemala for “not doing anything to salvage the agreement.” He said State Department officials will frequently push to get agreements approved but have not done so in this case.

Breitbart News reached out to the Department of State for a reaction to the Guatemalan officials remarks and about the “safe country” asylum agreement. A response was not received prior to the publishing of this article.

State Department officials did tell Sara Carter, “We are not going to comment on any discussions with Guatemala on this matter.”

The Guatemalan official said that State Department officials in his country have been working with NGOs and hardcore leftists funded by George Soros to undermine efforts by the Trump administration to deal with the crisis along the U.S. southern border.

“We have been working well with the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Defense, and the U.S. intel community,” the official explained. “But the State Department is another issue altogether.”

The official continued, “Leftists in our country do not work in a vacuum. They work closely with Democrats in the U.S. and the liberal media to attack President Trump and make President Morales look bad.”

The Trump administration is working with Mexico and the governments of the Central American Northern Triangle countries to find ways to curb the mass-migration through those countries to the U.S. border. The Guatemalan official explained that his country is powerless to stop those who transit Guatemala via the CA-4 highway. He explained that international law blocks Guatemalan law enforcement from interfering with people who use this international highway to travel through Guatemala.

Mexican authorities are not bound by these regulations and recently began a crackdown on migrants attempting to travel through Mexico to reach the U.S. The Mexican president ordered approximately 6,500 National Guard troops to set up checkpoints to search for migrants attempting to move through his country. This action followed a threat by President Trump to implement tariffs against Mexican imports to the U.S. if the country did not cooperate in efforts to reduce the flow of migrants.

The Guatemalan government is also seeking to cooperate with the Trump administration in matters related to the U.S. border crisis. “We have been working closely with U.S. Homeland Security Investigations to find ways to curb the flow of migrants through our country and to crack down on human smugglers and other criminal groups who exploit U.S. law to move migrants as ‘asylum seekers,'” the official explained. “We are looking for a framework of an agreement to allow for slowing the flow of migrants, but leftists in our country, NGOs, political analysts, and former politicians work very closely with former Obama and Clinton administration officials to try and frustrate the process.”

“These people then work with CNN and other media outlets to try and stop President Trump’s agenda,” the official concluded. “While it won’t happen today, we continue to work towards an agreement between the U.S. and Guatemala to address the current immigration crisis.”

On Monday morning, the Trump administration announced a new plan to bar migrants from seeking asylum in the U.S. if they have not first applied for asylum in a third-party country along the travel route, Breitbart News reported.

“Until Congress can act, this interim rule will help reduce a major ‘pull’ factor driving irregular migration to the United States and enable DHS and DOJ to more quickly and efficiently process cases originating from the southern border, leading to fewer individuals transiting through Mexico on a dangerous journey,” Acting DHS Secretary Kevin McAleenan said in a written statement.

The Department of Justice also participated in the creation of the new asylum rule. “This Rule will decrease forum shopping by economic migrants and those who seek to exploit our asylum system to obtain entry to the United States—while ensuring that no one is removed from the United States who is more likely than not to be tortured or persecuted on account of a protected ground,” Attorney General William Barr stated.

Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior political news contributor for the Breitbart Border team. He is an original member of the Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX and Facebook.



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