The Guatemalan government disputed US President Joe Biden’s claim on Tuesday that he had agreed to surge troops to the border to make migration to the United States more difficult.
The government said in a Spanish statement that “there are no signed documents” regarding border security.
White House spokesman Jen Psaki claimed on Monday that Guatemala had agreed to raid 1,500 police and military personnel on the southern border and set up 12 checkpoints along the route.
“There was a series of bilateral talks between our leadership and the local governments of Mexico, Honduras and Guatemala. Through these discussions there was a commitment to strengthen border security,” she said in Washington. I told reporters. “I think the purpose is to make traveling more difficult and crossing borders more difficult.
However, Guatemalan officials said in January 1,500 law enforcement agencies and military personnel were already on the border.
“President Alejandro Jamattei has undertaken a commitment to strengthen border security as a strategy to combat cross-border threats such as drug trafficking and human trafficking and as a pandemic precaution since the inauguration of the administration in January 2020. “The officials added.
A White House spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the Guatamela statement.
Vice President Kamala Harris spoke to Jamatai on the phone on March 30th. According to the White House reading, they agreed to “help promote economic development, harness technology, strengthen climate resilience, and create conditions to expand opportunities for people at home. Countries to address the root cause of migration. “
The United States has seen a surge in illegal border crossings this year after Biden rolled back or reversed many immigration policies, such as the “Stay in Mexico” program.
The number of children arriving at the border without parents or guardians more than doubled from February to March from 9,271 to 18,663. According to last year’s statistics, about one in two unaccompanied minors is from Guatemala.
During her appearance at MSNBC on Monday, White House National Policy Council aide Tyler Moran explained plans for an agreement with Guatemala and other countries as a way to protect children migrating to the United States.
“We have secured an agreement for them to place more troops on their borders. Mexico, Honduras and Guatemala all agree to do this. It is on the way here. Not only does it prevent traffickers, smugglers and cartels that use children in Mexico, but it also protects those children, “he said.
According to the White House, the deal between Mexico and Honduras included the former maintaining an army of 10,000 on the southern border and doubling detention, with Honduras “ 7,000 police and military personnel “ Dispatched to “dissolve a large immigrant delegation.”
Mexico said on March 22 that it had nearly 9,000 troops on the north-south border of the Defense Ministry, the Navy and the National Guard, Reuters reported. The Mexican government said in a statement Monday that it would retain its military at the border.
Honduras Foreign Minister Lisandro Rosales said on Monday, “The Honduras delegation’s promise to put soldiers on the border despite the clear promise that the Honduras government will avoid this type of migration that causes death and mourning. There wasn’t. According to AP News, for the Honduras family. “
Later that day, Defense Minister Freddie Santiago Diaz of Honduras said the country was considering increasing the number of troops at the border.