(MENAFN - Newsroom Panama) The Trump administration wants to reach an agreement with the Government of Panama that allows the United States to return to the Isthmus asylum seekers from Africa, Asia, and other places, who survived the perilous journey across Darien en route to the US.
The news was carried in The Washington Post, on Monday, August 20.
The "third safe country" agreement would apply mainly to the "relatively small but growing" number of "extracontinental" asylum seekers who arrive in South America, before heading north to Panama, through wild forests and muddy rivers, according to the report
The newspaper said that the US interim secretary of National Security Kevin McAleenan, will travel to Panama City to meet with President Laurentino Cortizo with the aim of "discussing regional cooperation to address irregular migration," said a Department of Homeland Security statement.
Before leaving for Panama, McAleenan said the purpose of his trip is a "broader agenda" and not to negotiate a specific agreement, according to the Post. "We are going to talk about our broad security relationship and the solid basis for exchanging information with Panama."
According to McAleenan, this will include the movement of drugs across the region, smugglers and human traffickers, and a dialogue on irregular migration flows.
The visit is part of the efforts of the Trump administration to establish agreements of a "safe third country" throughout the hemisphere, which will allow US authorities to reject asylum seekers on the border between Mexico and the United States and send them to other countries willing to offer shelter.
Kevin McAleenan already reached an agreement at the end of last July with the Guatemalan government that, if implemented, would allow the United States to send Honduran and Salvadoran asylum seekers there.