The Trump administration is reportedly considering imposing a travel ban on Guatemala unless the nation takes significant action to stop the seemingly endless flow of illegal migrants who head north from the troubled state and reach America’s southern border.
“In a move reminiscent of the pressure campaign President Trump launched against Mexico over immigration, the travel ban is the most explosive option of three that the administration says its considering against the Central American nation, according to White House and other U.S. sources familiar with the plans,” NPR reported. “Trump charged Guatemala with backing out on an immigration deal with the United States.”
“If Guatemala doesn’t take significant action to help protect our borders, than we will, of course, look at all manner of solutions to the serious crisis we face, whether it’s a travel ban, significant actions on remittances and/or tariffs,” a White House official told NPR.
The move comes after Obama-appointed U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar blocked the Trump administration on Wednesday from imposing its new asylum policy. The policy would have likely drastically reduced the number of migrants flooding the U.S. southern border.
“The rule, published in the Federal Register last week, required people seeking asylum to apply first in one of the countries they cross on their way to the U.S. — with certain exceptions,” Fox News reported. “It targeted tens of thousands of Central Americans who have crossed Mexico each month trying to enter the U.S.”
Before departing the White House yesterday, Trump mentioned taking action against Guatemala after the Central American country’s high court blocked its government from signing the asylum deal with the U.S.
“So, Guatemala gave us their word. We were going to sign a safe third agreement and then, all of a sudden, they backed up,” Trump said. “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,” Trump continued. “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,” Trump concluded. “We’re going to do — we’re looking at a couple of different things. One of the things very heavy is, as you know, Mexico has put 6,000 people on that border.”