GUATEMALA CITY (AP)– A Guatemalan immigration arrangement signed with the Trump administration won’t work since the Central American nation does not have the resources, the country’s new president-elect says.
Alejandro Giammattei, a conservative who was picked extremely by citizens in a weekend overflow election, said in an interview with The Associated Press on Tuesday that Guatemala is too poor to tend to its own people, not to mention those from other nations.
The agreement signed in July by the outgoing administration of President Jimmy Morales would require migrants from other nations who cross into Guatemala to apply for asylum here rather than in the U.S.
” In order to be a safe nation, one needs to be certified as such by a global body, and I do not think Guatemala satisfies the requirements to be a 3rd safe country. That definition does not fit us,” stated Giammattei, a 63- year-old doctor.
” If we do not have the capability for our own individuals, just think of other individuals.”
Guatemalans make up one of the biggest groups emigrating from Central America since of poverty, unemployment and crime. Critics state it is hard to see how the country might offer a safe haven to migrants from other nations.
The contract signed by the present Morales federal government is targeted at decreasing the number of asylum applicants getting to the U.S.-Mexico border. U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration pressured Guatemala to sign the deal by threatening to punish Guatemala with taxes.
Giammattei, who takes workplace Jan. 14, said that annexes to the arrangement are still being worked out with the United States which he would ask Morales to consist of members of his transition team in those talks.
The president-elect also kept in mind that the contract would need to be validated by the congresses of both countries to go into force. There has been widespread criticism of the offer in Guatemala.
Giammattei promised to recognize the significance of Guatemalan migrants residing in the United States by creating a Washington-based Cabinet-level position to address migrant affairs.
” It is about time we had a federal government that looked after the people,” he stated. “It is these individuals (migrants) who are supporting us” with the remittance cash they return to family members in Guatemala, he added.
” I do not think physical walls, or walls of weapons, can stop migration,” Giammattei said. “I think what can stop migration are walls of chances.”
On another matter, the inbound leader distanced himself from Morales’ unpopular choice to not renew the required of the U.N.-sponsored anti-corruption commission that has actually played a crucial role in sending out high-ranking political leaders, including ex-presidents, to prison. However Giammattei also showed he would not work to bring back the commission, understood as CICIG.
” The mandate has been ended; the United Nations accepted that,” he said.
He said he has no legal capacity or any other authority to ask Morales to renew the commission. “The CICIG is disappearing and history will judge whether Morales’ decision was right or not,” he said.