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Guatemala's President-elect Alejandro Giammattei during an interview in Guatemala City on Monday. Photo: Johan Ordonez/AFP/Getty Images

The current Guatemalan government's "safe third country" asylum agreement with the Trump administration won't work because Guatemala doesn't have the resources, President-elect Alejandro Giammattei told AP in an interview published Wednesday.

"In order to be a safe country, one has to be certified as such by an international body, and I do not think Guatemala fulfills the requirements to be a third safe country. That definition doesn’t fit us."
— Guatemala's President-elect Alejandro Giammattei to AP

The state of play: Giammattei pointed out to AP that the deal would have to be ratified by Congress in both countries to come into effect.

The big picture: Outgoing President Jimmy Morales signed the deal after President Trump threatened tariffs and remittance taxes. It is aimed at reducing the number of asylum-seekers arriving at the southern border, but it's been widely criticized in Guatemala.

  • In his interview with AP, Giammattei pledged to recognize the importance of Guatemalan migrants living in the U.S. by creating a Washington-based Cabinet-level position on migrant affairs. He said U.S.-based migrants were supporting Guatemala with the remittance money they sent back to relatives in the country.
"I do not think physical walls, or walls of weapons, can stop migration. I think what can stop migration are walls of opportunities."

What's next? Giammattei is due to take office on Jan. 14. He told AP that annexes to the immigration deal were being negotiated with the U.S. and that he would ask Morales to include transition team members in the talks.

Go deeper: Guatemalan election could upend Trump’s migration deal

Go deeper

The week the Trump show ended

Data: NewsWhip; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Donald Trump was eclipsed in media attention last week by President Biden for the first time since Trump took office, according to viewership data on the internet, on social media and on cable news.

Why it matters: After Trump crowded out nearly every other news figure and topic for five years, momentum of the new administration took hold last week and the former president retreated, partly by choice and partly by being forced off the big platforms.

Pay TV's bleak post-pandemic outlook

Data: eMarketer; Chart: Axios Visuals

The pandemic has taken a huge toll on the Pay-TV industry, and with the near-term future of live sports in question, there are no signs of it getting better in 2021.

Why it matters: The fraught Pay-TV landscape is forcing some smaller, niche cable channels out of business altogether.

2 hours ago - World

Biden sets his sights on China

Photo illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photo: Frederic J. Brown/Getty Images  

The new administration's first few moves and statements on China suggest that President Biden may continue some of the Trump era's most assertive policies.

Why it matters: China's severe domestic repression, its dramatic rise as a technological superpower, and its increasingly aggressive actions around the globe mean that the world expects the American president to take action.

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