Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei admitted that he has only spoken to border czar Vice President Kamala Harris once about the ongoing immigration crisis on America’s southern border.
Appearing on Fox News’ “America Reports”on Wednesday, Giammattei told John Roberts the only time he has spoken directly with Harris about the border was when she visited his country. (RELATED: Kamala Harris’ Trip To Central America Suffers Early Missteps)
Harris visited Guatemala in June telling Guatemalans in a joint press conference with Giammattei to not come to the U.S. illegally.
“That is the only communication you’ve had with the Biden Administration about illegal immigration?” Roberts asked before asking Giammattei if he found that “odd.”
“Well, we have had many conversations with your ambassador,” Giammattei replied through an interpreter, “but between my presidency and the White House, actually, no. I spoke once with Joe Biden because I introduced myself. Then we had the visit of Vice President Harris. And on matters of state, migration, we had visit of Mr. Alejandro Mayorkas. But aside from that direct communication, no, we haven’t had it.”
On Harris’ stated focus on “root causes” of migration in Central America, Giammattei suggested that the crisis is not a single-faceted issue, stating that migration could only be stopped on the basis of structural causes.
Giammattei recalled telling Harris when she visited in June that as a former prosecutor in California, she likely understands the U.S. criminal code and how it can be strengthened to dissuade drug cartels and the big business that is human trafficking.
He told Roberts that the federal government could better enforce and strengthen federal crime statutes against coyotes or the individual human traffickers themselves.
“Then the U.S. can ask us to expand our extradition conditions — and with that, these coyotes would land in a federal prison with very severe penalties. This is something that drug traffickers fear,” Giammattei said.
Harris unveiled a strategy in July that focused on cutting down the incentives migrants have for traveling to the U.S.
“In Central America, the root causes of migration run deep — and migration from the region has a direct impact on the United States,” Harris stated, regarding the plan. “For that reason, our nation must consistently engage with the region to address the hardships that cause people to leave Central America and come to our border.”
Giammattei also admitted to Roberts that under former President Donald Trump correspondence was more “direct.” (RELATED: ‘She Was Supposed To Be In Charge’: MSNBC Anchor Tears Into ‘Border Czar’ Kamala Harris)
When asked if he felt the U.S. was a partner in economic development and trying to lift Guatemalans out of poverty, Giammattei remarked, “The day I meet [Biden] personally, I will ask him.” He added, “We may be waiting a long time to meet.”