By JENNIE TAER, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER | October 26, 2022
GUATEMALA CITY, Guatemala — Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei said that the Biden administration’s announcement of its decision to end Title 42, which never came to fruition, unleashed a wave of migrants bound for the U.S., in a sit-down interview with the Daily Caller News Foundation in his presidential palace.
Guatemala has recently seen large waves of illegal migrants because of Biden administration policies in the U.S., including its announcement to scrap Title 42, the public health order used to expel certain migrants to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, Giammattei told the DCNF. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced on April 1 that Title 42 would end on May 23, but the move was blocked in a lawsuit led by Republican states. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Guatemalan President Says Biden Admin Refused To Help Him Deport Illegal Migrants Bound For The US Border)
“We have recently seen a very serious increase in the number of migrants seeking to cross our border,” Giammattei said. “When Title 42 was eliminated, we see an even greater increase in the crossings through Guatemala, illegal crossings through Guatemala to reach the United States illegally as well.”
The Biden administration also instituted a new rule to expel illegal migrants from Venezuela, while granting legal entry to 24,000 other Venezuelans that meet certain qualifications. Giammattei said that the program is also leading to problems for his country as Venezuelans continue to pass through with a new uncertain fate.
“And now that the Venezuelans we understand that have the possibility of obtaining a visa, that means another problem for Guatemala. We have no relationships with Venezuela, we do not have diplomatic exchanges, we don’t have an embassy here or there,” Giammattei said.
“Therefore, we cannot issue passports or any kind of identification for Venezuelan nationals here in Guatemala and that means a huge amount of a floating population that is going to become a serious problem for this country. While we remain stopping them here,” he added.
The White House didn’t immediately respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.