US-Honduras finalize implementation steps on asylum deal

AP

Print Article

  • Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad F. Wolf, right, shakes hands with Hondura's President Juan Orlado Hernandez during a press conference in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, Thursday, Jan. 9, 2020. Wolf said that the two countries had finalized their implementation of an agreement that would send third country asylum seekers from the U.S. to Honduras. (AP Photo/Elmer Martinez)

  • 1

    Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad F. Wolf arrives for a press conference with Hondura's President Juan Orlado Hernandez in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, Thursday, Jan. 9, 2020. Wolf said that the two countries had finalized their implementation of an agreement that would send third country asylum seekers from the U.S. to Honduras. (AP Photo/Elmer Martinez)

  • 2

    Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad F. Wolf, right, and Hondura's President Juan Orlado Hernandez give a press conference in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, Thursday, Jan. 9, 2020. Wolf said that the two countries had finalized their implementation of an agreement that would send third country asylum seekers from the U.S. to Honduras. (AP Photo/Elmer Martinez)

  • Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad F. Wolf, right, shakes hands with Hondura's President Juan Orlado Hernandez during a press conference in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, Thursday, Jan. 9, 2020. Wolf said that the two countries had finalized their implementation of an agreement that would send third country asylum seekers from the U.S. to Honduras. (AP Photo/Elmer Martinez)

  • 1

    Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad F. Wolf arrives for a press conference with Hondura's President Juan Orlado Hernandez in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, Thursday, Jan. 9, 2020. Wolf said that the two countries had finalized their implementation of an agreement that would send third country asylum seekers from the U.S. to Honduras. (AP Photo/Elmer Martinez)

  • 2

    Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad F. Wolf, right, and Hondura's President Juan Orlado Hernandez give a press conference in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, Thursday, Jan. 9, 2020. Wolf said that the two countries had finalized their implementation of an agreement that would send third country asylum seekers from the U.S. to Honduras. (AP Photo/Elmer Martinez)

TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras (AP) — U.S. acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf said Thursday on a visit to Honduras that the two countries had finalized the steps on implementing an agreement that would send third country asylum seekers from the United States to Honduras.

Wolf said implementation would begin in the coming weeks.

“To build asylum capacity in Honduras smoothly and efficiently we plan to implement in phases, which will allow us to gradually roll out the program while working through operational considerations and questions on a small scale and assuring that the Honduran asylum system is not overwhelmed," Wolf said.

Wolf commended Honduras for undertaking a “humanitarian responsibility.”

The agreement “also serves a security purpose,” Wolf said. “With access to protections in Honduras and throughout the region fewer individuals will make the dangerous journey to the United States."

Wolf's meetings with Honduras President Juan Orlando Hernández come as the United States expands plans to send asylum seekers to Central America.

Beginning in July with Guatemala, the U.S. signed bilateral agreements with the governments of the so-called “Northern Triangle” countries — Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador — that would allow them to send asylum seekers from third countries.

In November, the U.S. began sending Hondurans and Salvadorans to Guatemala under the agreement. It argued that migrants seeking asylum should request it in the first safe country they enter.

This week the U.S. confirmed plans to begin sending Mexican asylum seekers to Guatemala as well. Outgoing Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales denied Wednesday his government had agreed to receive Mexican asylum seekers.

Of 94 foreign asylum seekers sent to Guatemala by the U.S. government, only six requested asylum there.

In exchange, the U.S. has agreed to invest in the region's economic development, an exchange Wolf highlighted Thursday.

"As you continue to do more to secure your borders, dismantle gangs and cartels and implement our asylum agreement, the United States government will continue to invest in and support the economic growth in Honduras,” he said.

Critics have pointed out that these are three of the most dangerous countries in the world and have been the main sending countries responsible for hundreds of thousands of migrants arriving at the U.S. border in recent years.

Honduras alone last year received 109,185 of its citizens deported from the U.S., according to government data.

Itsmania Platero, a migrant advocate working closely with organizations in Mexico and the International Organization for Migration said she believed the U.S. would begin sending asylum seekers to Honduras by the end of January.

Ultimately, the measures are aimed at dissuading migrants from traveling to the U.S. border.

Graco Pérez, an immigration analyst, said Honduras is not prepared to receive foreign asylum seekers.

“The Hondurans who are sent back will look for a way to reinsert themselves in their territory, but in the case of the foreigners the country committed to provide them with health, security, education and employment so they can remain in the country in a decent way, but the government hasn’t made any announcement that it created those conditions,” he said.

 

Print Article

Read More World News

Mag 7.7 quake hits between Cuba and Jamaica, but no injuries

AP

January 28, 2020 at 4:48 pm | HAVANA (AP) — A powerful magnitude 7.7 earthquake struck in the Caribbean Sea between Jamaica and eastern Cuba on Tuesday, shaking a vast area from Mexico to Florida and beyond, but there were no rep...

Comments

Read More

AP Top International News at 5:48 p.m. EST

AP

January 28, 2020 at 3:50 pm | 'Like I'm trapped': Africans in China lockdown see no escape...

Comments

Read More

UN discussing resolution to endorse plan for peace in Libya

AP

January 28, 2020 at 4:37 pm | UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.N. Security Council is discussing a resolution that would endorse a plan for restoring peace in Libya and urge progress toward a cease-fire, amid new clashes between the c...

Comments

Read More

Tears, fear and panic grip China as coronavirus spreads

AP

January 28, 2020 at 4:24 pm | BEIJING — The man burst out with a shout at the last second as medical workers boarded a bus headed to Wuhan: “Wang Yuehua, I love you!” He sobbed, gasping, as his wife joined an emergency respon...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

(406) 755-7000
727 East Idaho
Kalispell, MT 59901

©2020 Daily Inter Lake Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X
X