Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei has stated that the only way to stop migration from his place into the U.S. is using”walls of prosperity,” not physical barriers.
“No one abandons their home, their family or their land on a lark,” Giammattei informed ABC News. “People who do it out of need have to find in their country enough guarantees that they will have opportunities. And that is what we have been talking about with Vice President Harris and President Biden, about the need to build walls of prosperity as opposed to the physical walls.”
“The high walls, those, anyone can cross,” Giammattei added. “Physical walls don’t stop immigration, not when they hire someone like El Chapo Guzman to dig a tunnel and cross underneath. The wall doesn’t stop it. The only thing that stops a person is a wall of prosperity.”
Guatemala is one of three nations in the Northern Triangle region of Central America. The area, which also contains El Salvador and Honduras, is the primary source of migrants to the United States. In 2018 alone, at 116,000 Guatemalans crossed the southern U.S. border. The amount was more than from any other state except Mexico, based on National Geographic.
The immigrants mostly flee the area to escape high murder rates, gang violence, low labour in addition to a lack of access to food, requirements and social services. Recent droughts and hurricanes have jeopardized conditions in the area.
In his Thursday interview, Giammattei said that his presidency hasn’t been plagued with the corruption of past government. However, he explained drug cartels continue to corrupt politics across his nation. He also said that he believes Guatemalans have been emigrating into the U.S. under the belief that Biden may allow them into the country.
Former President Donald Trump cut federal funds to the Northern Triangle throughout his administration to”punish” the region for the high number of migrants that abandoned the area to the United States.
Trump cut nearly $450 million in annual funding to international and local nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) as a outcome. The NGOs provided childhood education, farming skills, domestic violence shelters, medical practices, funding for local business initiatives and other community services such as anti-corruption and transparency instruction for local governments.
After Biden won the 2020 election, he also vowed to try to decrease Central and South American migration to the United States. His administration is developing an aid package that will encourage regional authorities to”clean up their police, increase tax collection, fight corruption and create the opportunities necessary to convince would-be migrants to remain in their countries.”
Newsweek contacted the U.S. Embassy in Guatemala for remark.