House Speaker Nancy Pelosi criticizes U.S. treatment of migrants during a visit to Guatemala, and raised doubts about whether the Central American country could cope with a migration deal agreed with the Trump administration.
Pelosi, a Democrat, was visiting Central America on Thursday (August 8) with a bipartisan congressional delegation just as the region was coming under pressure from U.S. President Donald Trump to do more to stop migrants reaching the United States.
Under the threat of economic sanctions, Guatemala late last month struck a deal with Trump to make the country a so-called "safe third country." The accord will require migrants to seek asylum in Guatemala rather than in the United States.
Critics question whether Guatemala, which suffers from high levels of poverty and violence, has the resources to handle a potential surge in asylum applications.
Asked whether Guatemala would be able to handle the agreement, Pelosi told a news conference she wanted to know more about what the safe third country deal entailed, and described it as a "very difficult challenge." She condemned the way migrants from Central America were being treated by the U.S., saying, "Things have to change, it has to be much different, and it's really shameful what is happening on the border."
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