New Guatemala president reverses course on previous deal regarding migrants

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 9:26 AM PT — Wednesday, August 14, 2019

The new president-elect of Guatemala is backpedaling on the country’s migration deal with President Trump. On Tuesday, Alejandro Giammattei stated he does not agree with the negotiations reached in July by his predecessor Jimmy Morales.

Last month, outgoing president Morales signed a deal with President Trump promising Guatemala would grant asylum to other migrants who cross into the country in an effort to control the flow heading north. However, Giammattei now says Guatemala is too poor to be able to do this, while also citing legal action being taken against the policy in the U.S.

Guatemala’s President-elect Alejandro Giammattei gives an interview in Guatemala City, Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2019. Giammattei said Tuesday that Guatemala will not be able to hold up its side of an immigration agreement with the United States by serving as a “safe third country” for asylum seekers. (AP Photo/Oliver de Ros)

“The fact that a federal judge has suspended the agreement because he considers that President Trump went beyond his duties, tells us that we are partly right,” stated the Guatemalan president. “As I say, if we take into account the definition of a Third Safe Country, I cannot be in agreement if we abide by that definition.”

Giammattei said he has asked Morales to include members of his team in talks with the U.S. regarding amendments to the migrant agreement. The incoming president is set to take office January 14th 2020.