Photo: Protesters holding up a up sign saying “Trump won” waited for Vice President Kamala Harris outside Guatemala’s presidential palace.
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— New York Post (@nypost) June 7, 2021
Guatemala’s prez blames Biden for border crisis as protesters tell Kamala Harris ‘Trump won’
By Steven Nelson | New York Post | June 7, 2021 |
Vice President Kamala Harris was greeted Monday by protesters in Guatemala telling her “Trump won” and “go home” — as the country’s president blamed President Biden for this year’s migrant crisis.
The rally was visible to Harris’ motorcade as she arrived to meet with Guatemala President Alejandro Giammattei one day after he blamed the US for luring his constituents north.
“Kamala, Trump won,” read a large sign near the Central American country’s presidential palace.
“Kamala, Mind Your Own Business,” another sign said, according to a pool report.
Images posted to Twitter show other signs, including one that tells Biden’s migration czar: “Kamala, Go Home.”
Another large sign set up by activists features a doctored photo of a pregnant Harris.
The poster read, “Guatemala is pro-life #momalahelpme.” Harris does not have biological children.
Another sign that appears to have been hoisted by activists onto a tall billboard along the roadway says, “Kamala Stop Funding Criminals #FueraDeGuatemala.”
It’s unclear how many participants were involved in the protest.
Giammattei said in a CBS News interview Sunday that the Biden administration is to blame for sparking the migration crisis.
The Guatemalan president said he and Harris “are not on the same side of the coin” on migration.
“We asked the United States government to send more of a clear message to prevent more people from leaving,” Giammattei said.
“The message changed too: ‘We’re going to reunite families, we’re going to reunite children,’” he said. “The very next day, the coyotes were here organizing groups of children to take them to the United States.”
After a day of meetings, Harris will depart Guatemala on Monday evening to travel to Mexico, where she will hold meetings Tuesday with President Andrés Manuel López Obrador.
Former President Donald Trump made curbing illegal immigration and stopping asylum-seeker caravans from Central America major themes of his four-year term. At one point, he cut off foreign aid for regional governments.
Critics attribute the record surge of illegal immigration to Biden’s policies, including his decision to end Trump’s “Remain in Mexico” policy that required most asylum-seekers from Central America to remain in Mexico while US courts reviewed their claims of persecution.
Biden also ended construction of Trump’s US-Mexico border wall and urged Congress to pass legislation that would establish a path to citizenship for most illegal immigrants. Republicans said the legislation and Biden policy changes created new “pull” factors for illegal immigration — countering Harris’ emphasis on “root causes” in Central America.
The number of US-Mexico border detentions soared to a 21-year monthly high of more than 178,000 in April, the most recent month for which statistics are available. Many families and unaccompanied children are from the three-country “Northern Triangle” of Central America, which includes Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.
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