On Friday, President Trump and the Guatemalan government had announced that they had come to an agreement of setting Guatemala as a processing checkpoint for asylum seekers seeking refuge in the United States. The news devastated many Guatemalan and latino communities in the United States as many Central and South-Americans know that Guatemala is not a “safe third world country.” Our very own Ana Guzman, who is a Senior Immigration Paralegal at the firm and a Guatemalan herself expressed disappointment on the asylum agreement between the two governments.
Ana Guzman has stated that having Guatemala as a checkpoint can cause more of a crisis for the country and migrants seeking asylum. She has stated that Guatemala does not have the resources or infrastructure to deal with large numbers of migrants, and that Guatemala is not a safe place to stay as violence and poverty is widespread in the country. Also including that the country’s very own citizens flee and look for refuge in the United States as the Guatemalan government can not keep its own citizens safe.
A report by Arizona’s Telemundo found that a majority of illegal border crossings in the United States are mainly by Guatemalans. Showing a rise from 50,401 family border crossings in 2018 to 167,104 family border crossings in 2019. This demonstrates how the Guatemalan government is ill prepared to handle the migrant crisis in Central and South America and may poses a greater threat to those seeking opportunities and refuge.