DHS Agents Headed to Guatemala


In a joint agreement between the United States and Guatemala, it appears the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is sending nearly 100 agents to Guatemala by August, 2019. According to this article by Sofia Menchu, Reuters was able to glimpse an “official document” dated May 27, 2019, hashing out the terms of the joint agreement. Acting DHS Secretary Kevin McAleenan and Guatemalan Interior Minister, Enrique Degenhart, signed the document. The document is said to specify DHS would send up to 24 ICE agents and 65 CBP agents, totaling 89 DHS agents headed to Guatemala.

The Guatemala-bound DHS agents will share information, best practices, and experiences, according to Reuters. They will not have law enforcement powers and will act purely as advisers to Guatemala.

Safe Third Country

Importantly, the joint agreement does not contain provisions for Guatemala to take on a new role as a “safe third country,” similar to the existing treaty between the United States and Canada. Here is a link to a UNHCR document explaining the concept of safe third countries in international agreements. Also, here is a useful 1991 article that describes refugee status and the safe country concept.  President Donald Trump stated last week Guatemala is preparing to sign such an agreement, but has not done so.

If you or someone you know are from Guatemala and have questions about immigrating to the United States, Christians Law, PLLC is here to help. Tyler Christians is an experienced immigration attorney and can help you with your immigration needs. Just give us a call by clicking or tapping here, visit our contact page, or simply fill out our form below and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

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