The United States will start removing “millions” of illegal migrants next week, President Donald Trump said on Monday, adding that Guatemala is preparing to sign a safe third country deal.
“Next week ICE will begin the process of removing the millions of illegal aliens who have illicitly found their way into the United States. They will be removed as fast as they come in,” Mr. Trump said on Twitter, referring to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.
He added that “Guatemala is getting ready to sign a Safe-Third Agreement,” an apparent reference to a pact in which migrants entering Guatemalan territory would have to apply for refugee status there, not in the United States.
The U.S. is facing a surge in migrant arrivals from Guatemala and other impoverished Central American countries which are plagued by gang violence.
Mr. Trump has called it “an invasion,” and has made the fight against illegal migration a central plank of his administration.
Earlier on Monday, the U.S. said it would not offer any more aid to El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras unless they take “concrete actions” to deter undocumented migrants from heading for the U.S. For fiscal 2019, $370 million initially planned will be allocated to other foreign policy priorities, the State Department said, and all future aid is now conditional.
“We will not provide new funds for programs in those countries until we are satisfied the Northern Triangle governments are taking concrete actions to reduce the number of illegal migrants coming to the US border,” State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said.
Under a deal between the U.S. and Mexico this month to avert threatened tariffs, Mexico agreed to deploy 6,000 National Guardsmen to reinforce its southern border, and to expand its policy of taking back migrants as the United States processes their asylum claims.
“Mexico, using their strong immigration laws, is doing a very good job of stopping people,” Mr. Trump said on Monday.
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