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Outgoing Guatemalan President Morales denies agreeing to take Mexican migrants from US

Outgoing Guatemalan President Morales denies agreeing to take Mexican migrants from US

The outgoing Guatemalan president says his administration had not agreed to accept deported Mexican asylum-seekers under a deal with the United States, despite US guidance to asylum officers to do so.

Jimmy Morales told reporters it was “completely untrue that we agreed a deal for Mexicans to come.” He said a safe third country-style deal with the US implemented at the end of last year only covered Hondurans and Salvadorans, Reuters reported.

“The US has talked about the possibility of including Mexican nationals, but that will have to be discussed with the next government,” Morales said. The president’s term ends on January 14.

Washington has pressured Central American countries to take in asylum seekers under agreements aimed at limiting immigration into the US. Critics say Guatemala is unable to offer protection to vulnerable migrants, given its weak state, high poverty and violence.