President Trump ‘unexpectedly‘ negotiated a major asylum deal with the government of Guatemala. In a surprise announcement on Friday President Trump invited the press into the oval office where Guatemalan Interior Minister Enrique Degenhart and acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan were gathered in advance.
It’s important to remember that President Trump spoke about this on Wednesday during an impromptu presser. In essence President Trump delivered an offer/
threat at the end of several months of negotiations. REMINDER:
Q What are you going to do about Guatemala? Guatemala. What are you going to do about Guatemala?
THE PRESIDENT: So, Guatemala gave us their word. We were going to sign a safe third agreement and then, all of a sudden, they backed up. They said it was their supreme court. I don’t believe that. But they use their supreme court as the reason they didn’t want to do it.
So we’ll either do tariffs or we’ll do something. We’re looking at something very severe with respect to Guatemala. I’ve already cut all payments; I did that a year ago. I cut all payments going to Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala. We used to send them $500 million for nothing. For nothing. They didn’t do anything except set up caravans.
So, Guatemala we’re going to take care of and it won’t even be tough. We’re going to do — we’re looking at a couple of different things. ~ Wednesday July 24th, 2019.
Apparently against the backdrop of the tariff threat President Trump is holding over the Mexican economy; and considering the Mexican economy has stalled [literally a zero percent growth rate]; Guatemala decided it was better, safer and wiser to cut a deal with President Trump.
After President Trump invited the media into the oval office, he announced Guatemala was signing a “safe third country” asylum agreement with the United Stated. Effectively blocking Central American asylum seekers from reaching the United States and filing asylum applications. [As an outcome of the agreement asylum seekers who travel through Guatemala can no longer seek U.S. asylum.]
In addition, following the signing ceremony, President Trump held a full press conference on a variety of subjects from the oval office. [Video below – Transcript to follow]