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 they transited 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.  Like Honduran police officer Jorge C., many takers of Human Rights Watch and Refugees International expressed fear of staying in Guatemala and said they were at the same risk of persecution or torture as in their home countries. « Yana E. » fled Honduras with her two-year-old daughter after a gang brutally murdered her husband. She showed her death certificate to Refugees International. When Yana applied for asylum at the U.S. border, an official told her that the U.S.
was « no longer granting asylum. » She was transferred to Guatemala as part of the ACA, although she has no family or friends in Guatemala. She said she felt unsafe in Guatemala because she said the gang knew where she was and that she had received a threatening video message from the same people who murdered her husband.  The United States has another such agreement, a 2002 agreement with Canada. Agreements have been reached on the safety of third-country nationals to share responsibility for assisting asylum seekers and to ensure that they are safe and protected from the damage they are fleeing. The Trump administration`s repeated attacks on the legal immigration system – as well as the president`s hateful rhetoric about asylum seekers – show that the administration does not recognize or intend to criticize its responsibility to protect asylum seekers. Under the U.S. Refugee Act of 1980, these agreements are not considered treaties, so they can be concluded without congressional approval. Asylum seekers can only be deported to countries where their lives are not threatened and where they have full access to fair asylum procedures.
Guatemala. Most asylum seekers from El Salvador and Honduras pass through Guatemala. The Trump administration signed an agreement with President Jimmy Morales in July after threatening to introduce tariffs requiring asylum seekers to stay in Guatemala. The United States could then send those who go there. However, the agreement has been challenged by the country`s Constitutional Court and it is not certain that it will be implemented. The so-called « first country of asylum » principle often justifies the decision to return asylum seekers to another country. This means that a country can refuse a person`s asylum application if they have already been protected by another country.