US Homeland Security discusses asylum agreement in Guatemala

US Homeland Security discusses asylum agreement in Guatemala
The Spanish message "I refuse to live in a dictatorship" hangs outside the University Museum where students closed access to the museum to protest a deal Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales' government signed with Washington forcing Salvadorans and Hondurans to request asylum in Guatemala instead of the United States, in Guatemala City, Tuesday, July 30, 2019. Prior to the signing, the Constitutional Court had granted three injunctions ordering the government not to enter into a deal without approval from the country's Congress — a ruling it ignored. (AP Photo/Oliver de Ros)

GUATEMALA CITY (AP) — The acting head of the U.S. Homeland Security Department is holding discussions behind closed doors in Guatemala on an agreement that would force many asylum seekers to file claims in the Central American country instead of the United States.

Details on Acting Secretary Kevin McAleenan’s agenda and activities Wednesday are scant. But the Guatemalan government says they include a meeting with Interior Minister Enrique Degenhart, who signed the deal in Washington last week.

Presidential candidate Sandra Torres’ political party also said McAleenan would meet with her, a week and a half before she faces Alejandro Giammattei in a runoff.

The president of the American Chamber of Commerce in Guatemala said McAleenan would present a plan of action to implement the deal.

The agreement has been challenged in Guatemala’s Constitutional Court.