Third Country Agreements

The Safe Third Country agreements are part of the arsenal by which nation states prevent the arrival of asylum seekers into their territory, in which national legal obligations and rights would be respected. The arsenal also includes the banning of high seas, offshore prisons, the setting of borders that force migrants into dangerous terrain, the payment by neighbouring states of the detention of refugee flows and the Trump administration`s “Remain in Mexico” policy. Guatemala. Most asylum seekers from El Salvador and Honduras pass through Guatemala. The Trump administration signed an agreement with President Jimmy Morales in July after threatening to introduce tariffs requiring asylum seekers to stay in Guatemala. The United States could then send those who go there. However, the agreement has been challenged by the country`s Constitutional Court and it is not certain that it will be implemented. The agreement with El Salvador, which is similar to the agreement with Guatemala, states that the United States “wants to cooperate with El Salvador to strengthen El Salvador`s institutional capacity.” In this part, the United States will invest in El Salvador and work on a path for about 200,000 Salvadorans who have lived in the United States for 20 years and who have temporary legal immigration status to stay in the country for a long time, McAleenan and El Salvador State Department Chancellor Alexandra Hill told reporters. Asylum seekers are required to apply in the first country in which they enter, which is a party to the safe third country agreement. Otherwise, the other countries in the agreement can reject their applications and send them back to that country. As a result of COVID-19, the United States temporarily halted the deportation of non-Guatemalan asylum seekers to Guatemala as part of its Safe Third Land Agreement with the country This judgment came after reports revealed that the United States was deporting dozens of infected migrants to Guatemala.

The United States continues its scheduled deportation flights to Guatemala. Conventions on safe third-country nationals are not explicitly mentioned in the 1951 Refugee Convention or the 1967 Protocol on the Status of Refugees.

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