July 12, 2019 / 2:38 PM / a month ago

Trump to discuss immigration with Guatemalan president at White House on Monday

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump boards Air Force One as he departs Washington for travel to Wisconsin at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, U.S., July 12, 2019. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump will meet with Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales at the White House on Monday for talks on immigration and security, the White House said on Friday.

Government sources from both countries have said Morales may sign an agreement with Trump on Monday declaring the Central American country a safe destination for asylum seekers, while five former Guatemalan officials have gone to court to block such a deal.

Trump said last month the United States and Guatemala were close to reaching a “safe third country agreement” as part of his efforts to curb U.S.-bound migration from Central America.

Under such an agreement, Guatemala would be obliged to process asylum claims from migrants who entered its territory en route to the United States. Migrants from Honduras and El Salvador heading to the U.S.-Mexican border overland usually cross into Mexico via Guatemala.

The White House said in a statement Trump and Morales “will discuss ways to create a more robust relationship focussed on addressing migration and security priorities.”

“The two leaders will also discuss how Guatemala can build a stronger relationship with its Central American partners to expand economic growth, create jobs, and promote opportunities for their citizens,” it added.

Reporting by Susan Heavey; Writing by Mohammad Zargham; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Susan Thomas

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