The Trump administration is working on a proposal that would force thousands of asylum seekers currently at the Southern border to travel to Guatemala to seek refugee status.
In an exclusive report The American Prospect's Marcia Brown and David Dayen explain the U.S. is effectively seeking to "outsource" asylum seekers to a “safe third country,” specifically, Guatemala.
The proposal could become finalized as early as Monday.
Key in the details is that this new program would render those seeking refuge "ineligible to apply for refugee status in the U.S."
Democratic U.S Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon was asked to weigh in.
“The whole idea [is] that we can take people from Honduras and El Salvador and fly them to Guatemala, where they’re absolutely in worse shape, they don’t have friends or family or funds, so they’re much more vulnerable, so they’re going from desperation to desperation,” Sen. Merkley said.
The House Foreign Affairs Committee notes too that Guatemala is not a safe country:
Chairman @RepEliotEngel: #Guatemala and #Mexico are not safe for migrants, so it’s baffling that Trump is attemptin… https://t.co/fMembdRfP1— House Foreign Affairs Committee (@House Foreign Affairs Committee)1562943645.0
Last month Trump hinted at the program:
Next week ICE will begin the process of removing the millions of illegal aliens who have illicitly found their way… https://t.co/Y0el2Ij8dU— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1560820839.0
On a related note, President Trump earlier Friday announced his ICE deportation raids will begin Sunday.