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U.S. Politics FPP Draft-Topic 2

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<a href="">Withholding federal funds is a favorite Trump leverage tactic</a> (Politico) "The administration also [...] <a href="">cut hundreds of millions of dollars in help to Central America</a> this spring."

<a href="">Democrats fume as Trump cuts Central American aid</a> (Politico, March 31, 2019)

“I've ended payments to Guatemala, to Honduras and to El Salvador,” Trump said Friday. “We were paying them tremendous amounts of money, and we're not paying them anymore because they haven't done a thing for us.”

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<a href="">Trump's plan for those seeking safe haven: a ticket to the violent heart of Central America</a> (Guardian) The US has signed agreements to send vulnerable asylum seekers to Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador – experts describe the plan as a recipe for disaster

Eric Olson, a Central America specialist from Washington’s Woodrow Wilson Centre, said Northern Triangle countries lacked even the most basic institutional infrastructure to receive so many rejected asylum seekers.

[...] the deals did underscore the lopsided nature of relations between the US and its far poorer regional neighbours who are massively reliant on it for trade, aid and remittances from their nationals who live there.

“I think it’s an indication of how vulnerable these countries are vis-a-vis the Trump administration. The US carries a huge stick,” Olson said. “There is too much at play for these small countries. They are just not in a position to resist the enormous pressure that the US puts on them.”

<a href="">Trump administration reaches deal to send asylum seekers to El Salvador in an effort to deter migrants from entering the United States</a> (WaPo)

A similar agreement, the Migrant Protection Protocols, has sent at least 42,000 Central Americans who were seeking asylum in the United States back to dangerous Mexican border cities while they await their cases in U.S. immigration courts, a process that can take months. [...] McAleenan called the accord with El Salvador an “asylum cooperation agreement,” rather than the kind of “safe third country” arrangement Trump officials have pursued for years. That term has been stigmatized in Central America, in large part because it would be difficult to consider the Northern Triangle region of El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala safe, given that it has among the highest homicide rates in the world. [...] [Salvadoran President Nayib] Bukele, 38, a centrist businessman and former mayor of San Salvador, has sought to leverage his cooperation with the United States to obtain benefits from the Trump administration. They include additional U.S. investment and a potential fix for the roughly 200,000 Salvadorans who have been living in the United States for nearly 20 years with a form of provisional residency known as temporary protected status (TPS).

<a href="">U.S. announces asylum deal with Honduras, could send migrants to one of world’s most violent nations</a> (WaPo)

Department of Homeland Security officials reached the accord with the government of President Juan Orlando Hernández, who is embroiled in allegations of government corruption and charges that he and others have been operating the nation as a criminal enterprise — <a href="">Hernández has been named as a co-conspirator in a major U.S. drug trafficking case</a>. The deal paves the way for the United States to take asylum seekers from the U.S. border and ship them to a nation with one of the highest murder rates in the world, a country with gang wars that have fueled waves of mass migration and multiple “caravans” to the United States that became a major irritant to President Trump.

<a href="">Trump officials signed a major immigration deal with Guatemala. Now they’re selling it to Guatemalans.</a> (WaPo)

Under the broad outlines of the accord, the Trump administration plans to bounce a large number of asylum seekers from Honduras and El Salvador back to Guatemala, instead of processing their claims in overwhelmed U.S. immigration courts. Guatemala’s deeply unpopular government acquiesced to the pact last month after Trump said he would institute tariffs, fees and travel restrictions that could have sent the Central American country into ruin. McAleenan arrived with a sunnier message, telling reporters, business leaders and prominent Guatemalans that the deal will transform the country’s relationship with the United States, bringing more work visas, investment and tens of millions of dollars in U.S. financial aid.

Following the <a href="">Decommissioning of the Megathreads</a>, collaboration on topical uspolitics/potus45-related FPPs continues, and draft posts can be found <a href="">on the MeFi Wiki</a> • Thanks to TK for helping to create this post.