Reports: U.S., Guatemala Negotiate Legal Wall Against Migrants

Migrants Tear Down MexicoGuatemala Border
Associated Press

U.S. and Guatemalan officials are negotiating a “safe third country” agreement which would bar the movement of U.S.-bound migrants through Guatemala, say press reports.

Under the terms of the [draft] agreement, migrants fleeing persecution in El Salvador and Honduras would be required to seek asylum in Guatemala, a gateway to Mexico and the United States,” said the June 13 report by Voice of America News.

With few exceptions, those who continue north to the U.S. without testing their chances in Guatemala would be sent back to Guatemala by U.S. immigration authorities

The White House finalized the draft agreement Monday, according to the source, and the agreement was expected to be presented to Guatemala officials as early as Thursday [June 13] — three days before a first round of presidential elections in that country.

A “safe third country” deal declares that migrants must apply for asylum in the first safe country they reach — and it allows the quick rejection of asylum claims if the migrants request asylum in more distant countries, such as the United States.

From March to June, roughly 350,000 migrants used Congress’s border loopholes to walk through the border and into Americans’ blue-collar workplaces, schools, and neighborhoods. The low-wage migrants will provide cheaper services and higher stock values to upper-income Americans.

U.S. government officials declined to comment, VOA reported:

The pending agreement with Guatemala, if signed, would be the first such agreement with a Latin American country in U.S. history. In response to written questions about the draft agreement, a State Department spokesperson for Western Hemisphere Affairs told VOA Thursday that “The U.S. team currently in Guatemala is working with Guatemalan counterparts to explore a full range of initiatives to advance this agenda, including capacity building, strengthening of local institutions, and improved asylum processing,” adding, “We will not disclose further details of ongoing, private diplomatic conversations.”

Pro-migration activists reacted with alarm to the news, partly because the Guatemalan deal would help President Donald Trump pressure Mexico to sign a safe third country deal.

Mexico has agreed to negotiate a safe third country deal if the border security and the “Remain in Mexico” program fail to sharply reduce the number of migrants arriving at the U.S. border.

“This should start setting off alarm bells; a Safe Third deal with Guatemala would force Honduran and Salvadoran asylum seekers to apply for asylum in Guatemala or be barred from seeking asylum in the U.S.,” said a tweet from Aaron Reichlin-Melnick at the Immigration Council. He continued:

A Safe Third Country deal with Guatemala would also put pressure on Mexico to sign their own deal. This would essentially be the regional compact [the Washington Post] and others reported on last week—Guatemalans forced to apply for asylum in Mexico and Hondurans/Salvadorans in Guatemala.

“This is just another shameful and illegal attempt to ban, bar, and block refugees from seeking asylum in the United States,” complained Human Rights First. Instead, the U.S. should provide aid and advice to the Central Americans countries and also streamline procedures for admitting more migrants into the United States, including migrants who declare they are victims of spousal abuse and gang intimidation, the pro-migration group urged.

The VOA report comes after the White House dispatched a team to Guatemala to help the local government curb the flow of migrants from Guatemala into Mexico. The Washington Post reported May 31:

The Department of Homeland Security personnel will work as “advisers” to Guatemala’s national police and migration authorities, and they will aim to disrupt and interdict human smuggling operations, the officials said, speaking on the condition of anonymity to describe a plan that has not been made public. U.S. authorities hope that the effort will cut off popular routes to the United States and deter migrants from beginning their journeys north through Mexico.

Plans call for at least several dozen DHS agents and investigators, and one DHS official briefed on the plans said about 80 U.S. law enforcement personnel will deploy as part of the mission. Another DHS official said Immigration and Customs Enforcement will send 18 Homeland Security Investigations agents and intelligence analysts, along with six agents from the Enforcement and Removal Operations division.

Immigration Numbers:

Each year, roughly four million young Americans join the workforce after graduating from high school or university.

But the federal government then imports about 1.1 million legal immigrants and refreshes a resident population of roughly 1.5 million white-collar visa workers — including approximately one million H-1B workers — and approximately 500,000 blue-collar visa workers.

The government also prints out more than one million work permits for foreigners, tolerates about eight million illegal workers, and does not punish companies for employing the hundreds of thousands of illegal migrants who sneak across the border or overstay their legal visas each year.

This policy of inflating the labor supply boosts economic growth for investors because it ensures that employers do not have to compete for American workers by offering higher wages and better working conditions.

This policy of flooding the market with cheap, foreign, white-collar graduates and blue-collar labor also shifts enormous wealth from young employees towards older investors, even as it also widens wealth gaps, reduces high-tech investment, increases state and local tax burdens, and hurts children’s schools and college educations.

It also pushes Americans away from high-tech careers and sidelines millions of marginalized Americans, including many who are now struggling with fentanyl addictions. The labor policy also moves business investment and personal savings from the heartland to the coastal citiesexplodes rents and housing costsshrivels real estate values in the Midwest, and rewards investors for creating low-tech, labor-intensive workplaces.

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