Aug 14, 2019

Guatemala's president-elect: Migrant deal with U.S. won't work

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

Trump accuses Twitter of interfering in 2020 election

President Trump speaks to the press as he departs the White House in Washington, D.C., on Thursday. Photo: Mandel Ngan/Getty Images

President Trump responded via tweets Tuesday evening to Twitter fact-checking him for the first time on his earlier unsubstantiated posts claiming mail-in ballots in November's election would be fraudulent.

What he's saying: "Twitter is now interfering in the 2020 Presidential Election.They are saying my statement on Mail-In Ballots, which will lead to massive corruption and fraud, is incorrect, based on fact-checking by Fake News CNN and the Amazon Washington Post," the president tweeted. "Twitter is completely stifling FREE SPEECH, and I, as President, will not allow it to happen!"

Editor's note: This is a developing news story. Please check back for updates.

28 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7:30 p.m. ET: 5,559,130 — Total deaths: 348,610 — Total recoveries — 2,277,087Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 7:30 p.m. ET: 1,679,419 — Total deaths: 98,852 — Total recoveries: 384,902 — Total tested: 14,907,041Map.
  3. Federal response: DOJ investigates meatpacking industry over soaring beef pricesMike Pence's press secretary returns to work.
  4. Congress: House Republicans to sue Nancy Pelosi in effort to block proxy voting.
  5. Business: How the new workplace could leave parents behind.
  6. Tech: Twitter fact-checks Trump's tweets about mail-in voting for first timeGoogle to open offices July 6 for 10% of workers.
  7. Public health: CDC releases guidance on when you can be around others after contracting the coronavirus.
  8. What should I do? When you can be around others after contracting the coronavirus — Traveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  9. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

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Updated 54 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Twitter fact-checks Trump's tweets for first time

President Trump briefs reporters in the Rose Garden on May 26. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

Twitter fact-checked two of President Trump's unsubstantiated tweets that mail-in ballots in the 2020 election would be fraudulent for the first time on Tuesday, directing users to "get the facts" through news stories that cover the topic.

Why it matters: Twitter and other social media platforms have faced criticism for not doing enough to combat misinformation, especially when its propagated by the president.