Guatemala postpones state visit after Constitutional Court ruling on “safe third country deal”

The Government of Guatemala postponed President Jimmy Morales’ July summit with President Trump after the nation’s Constitutional Court issued an injunction blocking President Morales from signing the US-backed “safe third country” agreement. The new immigration policy would require that asylum seekers who transit through Guatemala, as they travel to the US, seek asylum in Guatemala. Though President Morales claims that he had never intended to sign the agreement, the Constitutional Court ruled to uphold an appeal submitted by Congress which, in addition to blocking the signing of the agreement, requires that the President seek congressional approval before such an agreement can be adopted. The proposed immigration policy has also been met with criticism in the US. Member of US Congress and Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Eliot Engel (D-NY) suggested that the agreement would go against US law, based on the State Department’s report on human rights conditions, security, and rule of law in Guatemala.

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