Aca Agreement Guatemala
ACA transfers were temporarily suspended in mid-March in response to the Covid 19 pandemic.  Refugees International and Human Rights Watch call on the governments of the United States and Guatemala to fully remove the Guatemalan ACA instead of planning its resumption. The United States should also halt plans to begin the transfer of asylum seekers to El Salvador and Honduras under asylum cooperation agreements that have been signed but have not yet been implemented.  On July 15, the day after the injunction, the Trump administration attempted to implement a unilateral policy prohibiting anyone from seeking asylum at the U.S. border when transiting through a third country without seeking asylum.  On July 23, a federal court decided this policy.  The Trump administration then threatened Guatemala with tariffs if it disagreed with the asylum agreement.  Three days later, on 26 July, the two countries signed an agreement to transfer asylum seekers from all countries except Guatemala from the United States to Guatemala.   US Department of State, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, ”Country Reports on Human Rights Practices – 2019: Guatemala,” March 11, 2020, www.state.gov/reports/2019-country-reports-on-human-rights-practices/guatemala/. See also Hamed Aleaziz, ”Two Gay Immigrants Left Everything for Safety in the US. Instead, they were sent to Guatemala,” www.buzzfeednews.com/article/hamedaleaziz/gay-immigrants-asylum-guatemala-us-trump BuzzFeed News on February 10, 2020.
Like Freddie G., several takers had immediate relatives who lived in the United States and were following asylum cases based on the same fears as transfers to Guatemala, underscores the ACA`s contribution to family separation. On the other hand, an asylum seeker who, in the United States, even has a distant relative (aunt or uncle, grandparent, nephew or niece) with an outstanding refugee claim in the United States, is exempt from transfer under the U.S.-Canada agreement and can apply for asylum in the United States.  Moreover, the ACA either ignores the fact that none of these countries have asylum systems to cope with a forced influx of asylum seekers. Between November 2019 and March 2020, 939 migrants from Honduras and El Salvador were transferred to Guatemala as part of the agreement. Twenty of them applied for asylum. The Guatemalan state has arbitrarily given asylum seekers 72 hours to decide whether to seek refuge in Guatemala, a policy that effectively forces people to abandon their asylum applications.  ”Sistema Integrado de Justicia,” Comisién Internacional contra la Impunidad in Guatemala, June 2019, www.cicig.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/Presentacion_GIZ_SIJ_2019.pdf.