Guatemala President: Biden to Blame for the Migrant Crisis at the Border
Alejandro Giammattei slams Biden & Harris, says 'humanitarian' message failed
Guatemala's President Alejandro Giammattei has slammed the White House over the ongoing migrant crisis, saying Joe Biden is to blame for the surge of Central American immigrants at the U.S. southern border.
President Giammattei says Joe Biden's "humanitarian" message has failed and his decision to allow illegal migrants easy access into the US has helped trigger the ongoing border crisis.
Speaking to Fox News on Wednesday, Giammattei also revealed that he offered a solution to Kamala Harris by urging the U.S. to work with his government to prosecute people smugglers.
Giammattei told Fox reporter Sara Carter: "You can see that humanitarian messages were used here by the coyotes in a distorted manner.
"They said that they were going to support family reunification," he added.
"So the coyotes came and took the children and teenagers to the United States."
"And the border filled up," Giammattei continued.
"Not only with people from Guatemala but lots of people.
"That's why we have suggested that the messaging be clear.
"If you have a lukewarm message, it only creates the opportunity to misinterpret,” the Guatemalan leader warned.
Giammattei made the comments in an interview Wednesday with Fox News after his summit with Harris, who visited his Central American nation as part of her first foreign visit in office.
His remarks came as US Customs and Border Protection announced Wednesday that 180,034 migrants were encountered while trying to cross the border with Mexico in May.
The figure marked an increase over the 178,000 counted in April and 173,000 in March — all of which are among the highest numbers in years, Fox News said.
During a Monday press conference with Giammattei, Harris said, “I want to be clear to folks in this region who are thinking about making that dangerous trek to the United States-Mexico border: Do not come, do not come.”
"The United States will continue to enforce our laws and secure our border,” she continued.
"There are legal methods by which migration can and should occur, but we, as one of our priorities, will discourage illegal migration.
"And I believe if you come to our border, you will be turned back.”
Journalist Sara Carter, who conducted the interview, told network host Sean Hannity that Giammattei told her he wanted bilateral cooperation with the US on immigration-related matters.
Specifically, according to Carter, Giammattei said he suggested to Harris during their Wednesday meeting that the US include stronger federal charges against traffickers and coyotes.
The White House has yet to comment on Giammattei’s remarks.
The Biden administration’s undoing of President Donald Trump’s border policies has prompted a flood of Central American and Mexican illegal migrants at the US border, including thousands of unescorted children.
Central Americans looking for refuge from the Northern Triangle countries — Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras — have taken these policy moves, as well as the overwhelmingly more welcoming tone from Democrats, as a sign that Biden is inviting them to cross the border.
Insisting that the border was not facing a crisis, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said in early March that the problems the agency faced should be blamed on the previous administration.
The data, however, overwhelmingly shows that migrants were flooding the border because they believed Biden would welcome them with open arms.
As the crisis heated up, Biden tapped his vice president to address the diplomatic measures related to its “root causes.”
However, despite intense pressure, she has still refused to visit the border months later to surveil the situation for herself.