Asylum Seekers Encountered at US-Mexico Border to be Sent to Guatemala

Asylum seekers

Speaking about the fluctuating immigration policies in the country, the government is more focused on reducing the number of illegal immigrants entering through the US-Mexico border. The Trump administration has even begun to send some of the asylum seekers back to Guatemala.

The move appears to be a big transformation in the asylum system of the country that has already provided refugee to a huge number of immigrants. Of course it is not an easy move and its implication would further include massively trained officers for safe deportation of asylum seekers and consecutively relatable materials.

The program that is to be applied at a US Border Patrol station in El Paso, Texas will target adults from Honduras and El Salvador in its first phase, with the aim of getting these people transferred within 72 hours. Initially, only 10-15 people will be processed each day, which indicates the fact that the officials want a slow start for it.

The Trump administration has however, asked federal immigration officials to exempt unaccompanied children, migrants with valid US travel documents, or cases of public interest, while carrying out the program. Though an approval regarding such an exemption still requires an approval from USCIS headquarters.

The information was disclosed by three officials after attending a training session under the guidance of Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) asylum officers in Arlington, Virginia, on Tuesday.

In the wake of the new process, federal immigration authorities interviewed three migrants earlier this week, although they remain unaware of when the first flight to Guatemala would take place. They were authorized not to ask migrants whether they have a fear of being sent to Guatemala.

Instead, the asylum seekers must affirmatively state a fear of being sent to that country.

Homeland Security’s acting Secretary Chad Wolf stated that the agreement with Guatemala would be implemented “very soon”.

About the plan, it is to be noted that the officials have been planning this move for a long time and drew huge criticisms from the opposition and human rights group when President Trump brokered a deal with the Guatemalan government in July. There were rising calls that such a move would not only endanger the lives of the refugees, but also increase poverty issues in the existing Guatemalan crisis.

As immigration has become one of the central issues ahead of 2020 presidential elections, fulfilling the long voiced policies in relation has become a chief agenda of the government seeking re-election. If the administration wishes to send some of the asylum seekers to Guatemala, it will have one heck of a responsibility to fulfill. A working implementation plan is a must to process the migrants.

It has been noted that those who struggle to support themselves and their families and are underprivileged are the ones seeking asylum in the US. As the asylum seekers aim to get a better opportunity to live, will the new proposal provide them this right or will it surpass the administration’s plans of reducing the illegal migrants that have overpopulated the country?   

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