US to send Mexican migrants to Guatemala as part of asylum deal

The Department of Homeland Security announced Thursday that Guatemala has agreed to take Mexican nationals seeking asylum as part of a “safe third country” agreement signed with the U.S. earlier this year that sees migrants sent to the Central American country to claim asylum. “The United States and the Government of Guatemala are working closely together to continue implementation of the Asylum Cooperative Agreement,” Acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf said in a statement. “We are building protections that will be available to the region’s vulnerable populations closer to home — eliminating the need to make the dangerous journey north and lining the pockets of transnational criminal organizations.” “As we fully implement the agreement, all populations are being considered, including Mexican nationals,” he said. The agreement, negotiated earlier this year, is part of a series of regional agreements with countries by the Trump administration in order to stem the flow of migrants to the southern border. DHS has also secured agreements with Mexico and El Salvador in recent months. The agreement with Guatemala has been phased in since November, when flights began sending migrants from Honduras and El Salvador to the country after the U.S. established that its asylum policies meet the criteria of having a “full and fair” asylum system. DHS officials previously told Fox News that no migrants would be forced to go to Guatemala, instead being given the option of being sent back to their home countries or waiting in Mexico under the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) — whereby migrants wait in the country while their U.S. asylum claims are processed. The new expanded agreement with Guatemala now gives officials another avenue for Mexican asylum seekers who could not be placed in MPP because they claim a fear of persecution or violence if they were to be returned to Mexico. Instead of them then being allowed to await their hearings in the U.S., they could now be sent to Guatemala. Migrant rights groups and humanitarian groups have expressed concern about the Guatemala deal and other such agreements, claiming they could send vulnerable migrants into dangerous countries that do not have the capacity to keep them safe. The U.N.’s refugee agency said last month that the approach was “at variance with international law” and said that it was in touch with the government to express their concerns. Guatemalan Interior Minister Enrique Degenhart told reporters last week that so far 24 people have been sent to the country under the program — but that only two ultimately requested asylum there. Reuters reported that officials have also been told not to send some groups there, such as unaccompanied children or migrants with valid U.S. documents. Despite protests from humanitarian groups, the administration has hailed the agreements as part of a collection of policies that have led to a dramatic decrease in migrant flows to the border, and a drop in detentions there. Numbers released by the administration this month show that the number of apprehensions at the border has plummeted by more than 70 percent since May.

Audit rips $25M US-funded climate change program in Guatemala

A $25 million U.S.-funded project to help Guatemala combat global warming is being slammed as another taxpayer-backed boondoggle after a new audit highlighted a series of problems — including numerous inaccuracies in the group’s work and a failure to produce a required long-term plan. Without the plan, the government audit warned, “the funds … could be wasted.” The grant for the Climate, Nature and Communities in Guatemala Program was awarded to the nonprofit Rainforest Alliance in February 2013 by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) as part of a broader effort to fight climate change abroad. USAID’s Office of Inspector General, which issued the audit last month, said the program was set up to help organizations and small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Guatemala improve climate-change strategies and strengthen local NGOs so the country’s environment could be conserved without future U.S. assistance. The report noted that as of February 2015, $10.5 million had been disbursed so far. The audit acknowledged the program was making “some progress,” but it also alleged a laundry list of violations — including that the reported results were not accurate. The watchdog reported that data-testing revealed 22 errors in the accounting of whether the program was on track. One example given was that the Rainforest Alliance reported 162,356 hectares of land now devoted to timber and nontimber products such as cacao and honey. But a review found the group had counted the same hectares multiple times. The Rainforest Alliance also reported it had created 30,149 part-time and permanent jobs “generated through new sustainable, productive activities undertaken by program-assisted community-based organizations and SMEs.” However, the audit found 23,936 of those “jobs” may have lasted no more than a day. The audit also found that a required comprehensive “sustainability plan” on how the program will continue after USAID’s assistance ends was not completed, despite it being required and the project having been underway for two years. “Without a sustainability plan, the funds used to help the Guatemalan Government and other partners manage the country’s natural resources to mitigate the harmful effects of climate change could be wasted,” the report said. The report was first flagged by Judicial Watch, a conservative watchdog group which called the project an “egregious waste of taxpayer dollars” and “par for the course with virtually all of the Obama administration’s ‘green’ ventures, which have largely failed after getting hundreds of millions in federal funds.” Among other violations, the audit also found that while the Rainforest Alliance was supposed to contribute at least $3.75 million as a form of cost-sharing, the $1.79 million it reported as having contributed by December 2014 included $26,708 of U.S. funds it received under a separate project. The auditors also found that participants didn’t undergo background checks, breaking a government funding rule that background checks must be performed on anyone seeking to participate in USAID-sponsored training.

Wow..  Where to even begin with this?  Talk about waste, fraud, and abuse by this extreme-liberal agenda-driven Obama administration of our hard-earned tax dollars!!  Holy crap!!  Why on earth are we sending millions and millions of OUR tax dollars to Guatemala, which is actively flooding our country with illegal aliens, to help them somehow fight so-called global warming (or it’s latest trendy, politically correct euphemism, “climate change”)?!?!  Glad at least Judicial Watch and other groups are calling the Administration on their bungling of this fund.  But, the fund shouldn’t exist in the first place.  We’re over $13 TRILLION dollars in debt, and cannot afford this liberal agenda crap!!

Justice Dept. Opens New Asylum Gate For Guatemalans

Justice Dept. Opens New Asylum Gate For Guatemalans

Unbelievable!!  So, AG Eric Holder’s Dept of Justice (DOJ) is trying to do this under the radar because he knows its a sham and doesn’t have the support of Congress at all.  The top law enforcement officer in the land is doing everything he can to undermine the immigration laws of our country, but looking for loopholes like this.  Shame on Eric Holder!!  Anyway, look for a flood of Guatemalan women trying to cross the border claiming they deserve “asylum.”  Unreal..  I’ve not said it yet today.. So, here we go!  Its time to BUILD THE WALL!!!!!!!! …and put U.S. Army National Guard troops physically ON the border!!  Its clear Obama and AG Eric Holder have NO intention, whatsoever, of protecting our borders and our national sovereignty.  They, along with people like Gov. Jerry Brown (D-CA) are doing everything they can to undermine the rule of law in this country and destroy it.  This should infuriate and outrage every hard-working, tax-paying citizen of this country, and ESPECIALLY every immigrant that did the right thing, got in line, and went through the long and difficult process of getting here LEGALLY.