Guatemalans protest Trump adminstration deal that reroutes US asylum seekers to their country

The moment is captured when Guatemalans marched to the door of their president demanding a reversal of an asylum deal forced through by the Trump administration with threats of increased tariffs.

The protestors are seen here on July 27 outside of the presidential house in the capital of Guatemala City.

The Trump administration has struck a highly controversial deal with Guatemala, which will prevent some migrants fleeing their home countries from submitting asylum applications to the US.

Refugees travelling to the US who enter Guatemala, including Salvadorans and Hondurans, will now be required to apply for asylum protection from the Central American nation instead of at the US border.

Under the deal Guatemala has been declared a so-called “safe third country”.

The Central American nation and the US have been negotiating the deal for months.

Donald Trump earlier threatened to place trade tariffs on Guatemala if an agreement wasn’t reached.

“We’ll either do tariffs or we’ll do something. We’re looking at something very severe with respect to Guatemala,” the US president said on Wednesday.

Rights groups and student organisations rallied against the agreement in Guatemala City, gathering in front of the constitutional court.

Many believe the nation, which is mired in poverty and unemployment, has no capacity to take in refugees.

The problems of homelessness, severe drought, gang violence and unemployment which are endemic in El Salvador and Honduras are also present in Guatemala.

Eliot Engel, a Democrat who chairs the House Committee on Foreign Affairs said Mr Trump’s decision to sign the agreement was “cruel and immoral.”

‘’It is also illegal,” he added. “Simply put, Guatemala is not a safe country for refugees and asylum seekers, as the law requires.”

The president was asked on Friday if he expected to reach similar agreements with Honduras and El Salvador.

He replied, “I do indeed.”