The administration's migration deal is just another desperate attempt at fulfilling US President Donald Trump’s anti-immigrant agenda, Juan José Gutiérrez, the executive director of the Full Rights for Immigrants Coalition, told Radio Sputnik’s Loud & Clear on Thursday.
“What the US government is trying to do with this agreement is to prove that they are effectively halting undocumented migration from Central America and Mexico and elsewhere into the US. And what is one to think when just last year, thousands upon thousands of Hondurans were actually organizing and leaving their country to come to the US and ask for political asylum? Now, the US has had this grandiose idea that sending back those very Central Americans and non-Central Americans from Honduras - Africans, people from Caribbean nations” to one of the poorest countries in the world is a good idea, Gutiérrez told hosts John Kiriakou and Brian Becker.
“How can one conceive that sending potential political asylum petitioners to Honduras is a great idea and will solve the problem of desperation that forces all these thousands of Central Americans to try to get into the US and get political asylum or refugee status protection is beyond me. I just think the logistics are impossible,” he continued.
“We would have to invest thousands upon thousands of dollars not just in arresting these individuals and placing them in some form of transportation - one would presume planes - and send them back to Honduras, where they would have to then file political asylum petitions there, where the country is undergoing an incredible crisis of all sorts: political, economic. How are they going to process these individuals and their political asylum claims is beyond me,” Gutiérrez added.
The Trump administration has also reached similar agreements with El Salvador and Guatemala, mandating that migrants on the way to the US would have to first seek asylum in countries they passed before reaching the US’ southern border.
However, according to Gutiérrez, with Honduras being one of the “most dangerous countries on the planet” due to “Hondurans killing Hondurans,” migrants’ lives are being put at risk by the new policy.
“If they’re [Hondurans] perpetrating violent crime against their own, it’s very reasonable to assume that they would be basically placing immigrants in the middle of Honduran society in a very, very bad and dangerous position. Sending people, refugees or immigrants, to a country like Honduras - or El Salvador or Guatemala for that matter, who have also struck similar deals with the US - would amount in more than a few cases to a death sentence,” Gutiérrez explained.
During the United Nations General Assembly in New York this week, Trump said agreements with Central American countries would “make a tremendous difference at our southern border.” The agreements do not mandate sending migrants back to their home countries. Instead, they would be forced to return to countries they passed through on the way to the US. Many people from Cuba and Africa fly to the Northern Triangle - Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador - and then travel to the US from those countries. Under the new agreements, those migrants would be forced to return to the Northern Triangle instead of their home countries.
“From President Donald Trump's perspective, he thinks that this latest action, this deal that was just struck with the government of Honduras, is one more nail in the political coffin of what in the immediate past, one was able to call tolerated immigration to the US from around the world … It’s a heartless type of action, because this president and his administration care nothing about the well-being of all the immigrants that are now going to be prevented from coming into the US and exercising their political right to petition political asylum or refugee status so they can have some protection from the nightmarish conditions they are escaping from in their countries,” Gutiérrez added.
The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.