All the headlines, TV screens and pundits' comments are focused on an upcoming second week of hearings in the impeachment extravaganza against Donald Trump based on overwhelming evidence that he tried to extort the government of Ukraine into taking action to hurt Joe Biden's chances of defeating him in the 2020 election by threatening to withhold vital military aid to that country that Congress had approved.

But there is a far more appalling and devastating form of extortion that Trump has successfully carried out against a different foreign country, Guatemala. This extortion, rather than merely damaging an opposition party politician such as Biden, threatens to
destroy the lives of thousands of Central American asylum seekers by sending them to a remote jungle location in Guatemala, in direct violation of the most basic tenets of human rights and international asylum law.

This horrendous violation of elementary principles of human dignity and safety, which may well amount to a crime against humanity, has been almost entirely ignored by the Democrats, and by the media.

The Washington Post reports on November 15 that in July, Trump threatened to impose tariffs against Guatemala unless that country's president agreed to what was apparently intended to be a "safe third country" asylum agreement providing that Honduran and Salvadoran citizens who have passed through Guatemala on their way to seek asylum in the United States will be sent to a remote airport in the lowland jungles of Guatemala's Peten Department, far away from the capital of Guatemala City.

Guatemala, itself, of course, is already one of the most dangerous countries in the world, with one of the world's highest homicide rates. It is the diametric opposite of a "safe third country" under international asylum law.

The Post's story reports:

"U.S. officials have responded to [the] proposal with unease, because Peten lacks the facilities and personnel to handle returnees who may need resettlement."

The Post also relates that:

"...the United States wants the flights delivering asylum seekers to Guatemala to be widely publicized to deter other migrants..."

It is evident, therefore that the Trump administration has not only bludgeoned a weak foreign country, Guatemala, into accepting what could most likely be many thousands of defenseless men, women and children asylum seekers at a remote location where there are no facilities to sustain them, but that it wants to publicize this inhuman act of sadism in order to intimidate other immigrants from seeking asylum in the United States.

This is the abyss of moral depravity and inhumanity that the United States has sunk into under the Trump administration in its efforts to keep nonwhite immigrants of every description, and in all categories, legal as well as unauthorized, out of the United States.

There is surely something profoundly irrational, as well as cowardly, in the Democrats' making such an intense effort to publicize and investigate Trump's allegedly illegal attempt to force the government of one foreign country into producing what Trump hoped might be damaging information against one of his rivals for the presidency, while the same Democrats remain absolutely silent about Trump's successfully extorting another foreign country to endanger the lives and safety of potentially thousands of immigrants whose only "offense" is seeking asylum in the United States in accordance with international human rights law.

For the full story, see, Washington Post:

U.S. could send asylum seekers to remote jungle region under Guatemala plan.


Roger Algase
Attorney at Law