El Salvador Third Country Agreement

These agreements are usually signed by two countries. Migrants must apply for asylum in the first of the two countries they pass through, failing which they could be returned to the other country. In July 2019, the Guatemalan Minister of the Interior and the current Minister of the Ministry of Homeland Security signed an Asylum Cooperation Agreement (ACA), also known as the Safe Third Country Agreement. The signing came after Guatemala`s Constitutional Court ordered former President Morales not to sign the agreement without congressional approval. After Trump threatened to ban Guatemalans with legal U.S. visas and tax transfers, Morales sent his interior minister to sign. In the following weeks, El Salvador and Honduras signed similar agreements. In mid-June 2019, when the Trump administration publicly announced negotiations on the U.S.-Guatemala deal, it was aware (according to an assessment by the U.S. Embassy in Guatemala) that Guatemala was “one of the most dangerous countries in the world” and that the very rudimentary asylum system was a few hundred behind.

[23] [101] Francisco Mauricio Martínez and Katerin Chumil, “Gobierno de Jimmy Morales mintió sobre términos para el país por acuerdo de asilo con EE. UU. (Jimmy Morales` government lied about the country`s conditions following an asylum deal with the United States), Prensa Libre, February 27, 2020, www.prensalibre.com/guatemala/politica/gobierno-de-jimmy-morales-mintio-en-cuanto-a-que-el-acuerdo-de-asilo-no-representaria-un-costo-para-guatemala/. Guatemala does not meet the standard required by U.S. law for a “safe third country,” which is the ability to grant “access to a full and fair process for the identification of an asylum claim or equivalent temporary protection.” [1] Guatemala`s asylum system is hampered by a limited legal framework that only allows senior officials to authorize applications, resulting in massive bottlenecks in a system that has only recently been operating. . . .