“We need the Americans to help us to stop the deportations” of Guatemalan migrants, Giammattei told a reporter.
President Joe Biden should help Guatemalans get Americans’ wages — in exchange for Guatemala helping to curb the flow of worldwide migrants across the border, according to Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei.
The proposed migrant-for-migrant deal was spotlighted during a June 7 press conference with Giammattei and Vice President Kamala Harris. She met with Giammattei in Guatemala to showcase her focus on the claimed “root causes” of Central Americans’ migration into U.S. jobs.
The answer came after a reporter asked about Guatemala’s proposal that the roughly one million Guatemalan migrants living in the United States be awarded “Temporary Protected Status” (TPS) by Biden’s deputies. The TPS status allows illegal migrants to stay and work in the United States for many years.
According to the official translator, Giammattei said:
Regarding the TPS, we have elevated our request to Madam Vice President, particularly in view of the effects of [hurricanes] Eta and Iota and volcano [eruptions] last year, and we need the Americans to help us, to stop the deportations for some time, and yes, we asked the US government for TPS so that we can focus on development, but also by helping migrants in the United States, our migrants in the United States, not only to make money and send it, but also to give them the financial literacy so that they can establish their companies and Enterprises here in Guatemala so that they can come back to this country to create opportunities with what we have learned abroad.
Harris did not say the U.S. had agreed to Guatemala’s price for curbing migration up through the narrow isthmus of Central America. Guatemala’s border stretches from the Atlantic to the Pacific, so it is in a position to could block migration if its officials reject bribes by migrants.
Instead, Harris offered a scripted, ready-for-TV, and toothless warning to millions of potential migrants.
Those would-be-migrants are now watching their friends and relatives walk through Biden’s half-open border into low-dollar jobs that provide high-value remittances to the migrants’ families, but Harris declared:
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 … I believe if you come to our border, you will be turned back. So let’s discourage our friends or neighbors or family members from embarking on what is otherwise an extremely dangerous journey, where in large part, the only people who benefit are coyotes.
And let us do our work together Mr President, again, with our mutual commitment of knowing that hope is on the way.