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If all these agreements are implemented as planned, tens of thousands of asylum seekers travelling from the Northern Triangle to the United States will be arrested at the southern border of Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador or Mexico. And people who immigrate from outside the northern triangle must essentially apply for asylum, as south as the border between Honduras and Nicaragua. The agreement helps both governments better manage access to the refugee system in each country for people crossing the land border between Canada and the United States. The two countries signed the agreement on 5 December 2002 and came into force on 29 December 2004. Agreement with Honduras: In a series of agreements with the Honduran government, the Trump administration has sought to reduce migration from the region to the United States. In an agreement similar to that of the Guatemalan and Salvadoran governments, the United States could return asylum seekers to Honduras if they cross the country without seeking asylum beforehand. Under the agreement, refugee claimants must apply in the first country they arrive between the United States or Canada, unless they are entitled to a waiver. For example, asylum seekers who are citizens of a country other than the United States and who arrive from the United States at the land border between Canada and the United States can only assert their rights to refugees in Canada if they fulfill an exception under the Safe Third Country Agreement. It is significant that the Trump administration has not characterized these agreements with “safe third countries” as a shameful realization that these countries do not meet the implicit requirements of a safe third country. For example, most asylum seekers sent to Guatemala – including families with children – choose to return home, often risk their lives, but acknowledge that asylum seekers are not safe in Guatemala. Mexico. Mexico has refused to sign an agreement on safe third countries and officials say they have already helped reduce migration to the United States.
Since January, the Trump administration has sent many asylum seekers to Mexico while their cases are processed. In an agreement signed in June under customs pressure, Mexico agreed to take in more asylum seekers and strengthen enforcement of its southern border with Guatemala. Historically, two countries have negotiated “safe third country” agreements to better manage the influx of refugees and asylum applications at their borders. This agreement is signed to the extent that both countries can offer asylum to people in distress. This is not the case with the Trump administration`s agreements with Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. Agreement with El Salvador: The Salvadoran government has agreed to take in asylum seekers returned from the United States. Under the agreement, any asylum seeker who is not a national of El Salvador could be returned to El Salvador and forced to seek asylum there. In November 2020, the Trump administration adopted a final interim rule for the implementation of agreements with Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.