Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei spoke by telephone this week with U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris, seeking to grant Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to illegal Guatemalan citizens already in the U.S. This would allow them for some time to reside legally, work legally and even leave and re-enter the country.
Those migrants with TPS obtain certain extraordinary benefits and the legal recognition of their existence in the country. Although it does not imply legal residency, this type of migrant can, among other things, travel back to their country of origin and re-enter the United States, reports Breitbart.
TPS was designed especially for migrants suffering from particular situations in their countries of origin, generally linked to persecution, war exiles, and the like.
Granting TPS to all illegal Guatemalan illegal aliens amid the current migration crisis would be an absolute outrage against political logic. It would only encourage more illegals to attempt to cross the border while opening the door for other Central American countries to apply for the same benefit.
Giammattei’s TPS application came Tuesday during a telephone conversation with Vice President Harris, who U.S. President Joe Biden chose to lead the White House’s response to the surge of migrants clogging the U.S. southern border.
The Guatemalan government issued a Spanish statement from its Twitter account about the meeting on the same day it took place.
“The president reiterated Guatemala’s interest in granting TPS status to Guatemalan citizens currently residing in the United States,” the Spanish-language statement read.
— Gobierno Guatemala (@GuatemalaGob) March 30, 2021
For its part, the White House also issued an official statement acknowledging the existence of the conversation and recalling the Biden administration’s commitment to “work together and expand partnerships to benefit the people of the region.”
Clearly, Giammattei’s view differs from that of his Central American counterparts from El Salvador and Mexico. They have expressed that Biden’s immigration policies of border easing have been the cause of the overflow and humanitarian crisis currently being experienced on the southern border of the U.S., directly affecting the rest of Central America. Therefore, the last thing Kamala Harris should do now is accept the Guatemalan president’s TPS application.
El Salvador’s President Nayib Bukele stated in an interview that the exponential increase in migrant levels at the southern border is harmful to the United States but even worse for Latin America, arguing that it removes people vital to building the stable economic conditions that would keep them in their country of origin.
Recently a Mexican official familiar with immigration developments, speaking on condition of anonymity to Reuters, said that organized crime and gangs engaged in facilitating illegal immigration began to change their traditional way of operating “from the day Biden took office” and now exhibit “unprecedented” levels of sophistication and a considerable increase in crime.
The White House statement made no mention of whether or not Giammattei’s request would be granted, but it is not surprising given the erratic actions the Biden administration has taken regarding the country’s immigration situation since he took office as president.