WASHINGTON (AFP) – Mexicans seeking asylum in the United States (US) could be deported to Guatemala, part of a controversial migration deal between the Central American nation and Washington, the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) told AFP on Monday.
The agreement designated Guatemala a “safe third country” – allowing US authorities to deport some El Salvadoran and Honduran asylum seekers there – and was condemned by international human rights groups.
“Certain Mexicans seeking humanitarian protections in the US may now be eligible to be transferred to Guatemala and given the opportunity to seek protection there,” a spokesperson for Homeland Security said in a statement.
The Mexican Foreign Ministry said it “disagreed” with the measure that could affect roughly 900 of its citizens from February. In a statement, the ministry said it would closely monitor “human rights set out in the international agreements signed and ratified” by both countries.
Washington’s move is the latest tightening of immigration regulations under US President Donald Trump, who has pursued a broader crackdown on undocumented migrants.