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Nadler, Lofgren, Jayapal Statement on Trump Administration Safe-Third Country Agreement with Guatemala

Washington, D.C. – On Friday, the Trump Administration announced it had signed a safe-third country agreement with Guatemala, which would allow the Administration to remove asylum seekers if they passed through Guatemala on their way to the United States.  The Immigration and Nationality Act, however, sets conditions for such agreements, including that the relevant country “have access to a full and fair procedure for determining a claim for asylum or equivalent temporary protections” and that the life or freedom of individuals passing through the country “would not be threatened on account of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion.”  With 26.1 homicides per 100,000 people, Guatemala does not meet either of these requirements.  In response, Jerrold Nadler, Chair of the House Committee on the Judiciary, Zoe Lofgren, Chair of the Immigration and Citizenship Subcommittee, and Pramila Jayapal, Vice-Chair of the Immigration and Citizenship Subcommittee released the following statement:

“Once again the President is attempting to illegally circumvent our immigration laws in his all-out effort to stop asylum seekers from coming to the United States, going so far as to bully a foreign country with threats of tariffs and visa bans to force the agreement.  Guatemala’s immigration laws and infrastructure are woefully inadequate and unable to meet the needs of migrants coming from other countries in Central America.”

“It is clear to anyone looking at what is happening in Guatemala that it cannot reasonably be classified as a “safe third country.”  Instead of taking these illegal and divisive actions, President Trump should be working with Congress to pass bipartisan solutions that address the root causes of migration.”