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Trump Pact With Honduras 'Seals Off' Central America

Administration signs deal to send asylum seekers to country
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 26, 2019 5:18 AM CDT
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President Trump meets with President Nayib Bukele of El Salvador at the InterContinental Barclay New York hotel during the United Nations General Assembly, Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2019, in New York.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
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(Newser) – The Trump administration signed a deal Wednesday with a third Central American country that would effectively seal off the region, preventing asylum-seekers traveling through from entering the United States, the AP reports. The latest agreement, signed on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, paves the way to send asylum-seekers to Honduras, one of the world's most violent countries, like its neighbors. A similar arrangement was signed with El Salvador last week; a more comprehensive agreement was previously sealed with Guatemala. President Trump said at a news conference at the United Nations that the agreements, coupled with a crackdown by Mexico following tariff threats by his administration, "will make a tremendous difference in our southern border."

Most families arrested or stopped at the US-Mexico border are from the area known as the Northern Triangle: Guatemala, Honduras, or El Salvador. While they would not be returned to their home countries, they would be sent to other countries they passed through. For example, Hondurans must travel through Guatemala to reach the US by land. The deal completes a central component of Trump's strategy to deter asylum-seekers from entering the US through Mexico. It was swiftly condemned by immigrant advocates. "We will say it again and again: people cannot be forced to seek safety in countries where they will not be safe," said Charanya Krishnaswami, the advocacy director for the Americas at Amnesty International USA.

(Read more Honduras stories.)

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