situation report

Jul 26, 2019 | 22:22 GMT

2 mins read

U.S., Guatemala: Trump Announces Immigration Asylum Deal

What Happened: The United States signed an agreement with Guatemala on July 26 to require migrants who travel through the Central American country to seek asylum there instead of in the United States, The New York Times reported. Guatemala signed the "safe third country" agreement two days after U.S. President Donald Trump threatened to impose tariffs on the country if it did not agree to the deal.

Why It Matters: The asylum agreement with Guatemala could keep migrants bottled up in Central America and prevent them from reaching the U.S. border, and it gives Trump a concession he can hold up as a victory as he presses immigration as a top issue during his reelection campaign. Meanwhile, Mexico, which has agreed to slow migrant flows on its border with Guatemala, is trying to avoid being pressured into signing a similar deal with the United States. The White House could still threaten tariffs against Mexico to force an asylum agreement.

Background: Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales was set to sign a safe third country deal with Trump last week, but Guatemala's Constitutional Court ruled he could not sign such an agreement without legislative approval. It's not immediately clear how the agreement was reached or how it will take effect, given the court's ruling.

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