Donald Trump Wins Guatemala Vote on Asylum Deal

US President Donald Trump applauds while speaking at a Memorial Day ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia, on May 28, 2018. (Photo by JIM WATSON / AFP) (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images

President Donald Trump scored a win in Guatemala on Sunday when the nation’s voters rejected a candidate who wants to completely scrap a July 26 asylum agreement with the United States.

The pending deal would allow U.S. border officials to reject asylum claims from migrants who first cross through Guatemala, including migrants from Honduras, El Salvador, India, Africa, and Asia.

The agreement effectively creates a legal wall against migrants that is difficult for U.S. progressive judges to knock down because it is based on a clear U.S. law.

The August 11 election was also a defeat for progressive groups in the United States and Guatemala, which occupies the land bridge between Mexico and southern America. The progressive groups supported a left-wing candidate, Sandra Torres, who promised to reject the deal. On August 8, for example, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Guatemala, where she met with many of her left-wing pro-migration allies, some of whom are funded directly or indirectly by George Soros’s pro-migration donor groups.

The winner, Alejandro Giammattei, won 58 percent of the vote.

But the new president also wants the deal rewritten to provide more benefits to Guatemala. “It’s not right for the country. … If we don’t have the capacity to look after our own people, imagine what it will be like for foreigners, President-elect Alejandro Giammattei told Reuters.

The deal is expected to impose a cost on the nation’s government because migrants will be flown back from the U.S. border, and migrants and their cartel-backed coyotes will try to bribe their way through Guatemala to reach Mexico and then the United States.

The United States can easily provide extra economic aid and advisers to Guatemala’s small government. The additional foreign assistance will be more than offset by savings from the reduced number of migrants who are trying to get across the border and into blue-collar America’s jobs, neighborhoods, and schools.

The U.S. aid will likely also include non-cash benefits, such as easier trade rules and a larger share of the H-2A work permits for migrants.

According to Reuters, “Giammattei has pledged to build a ‘wall of investment’ along Guatemala’s impoverished border region with Mexico as a means of promoting economic development and encouraging people to stay at home.”

“I hope that during this transition [to inauguration day in January] the doors will open to get more information so we can see what, from a diplomatic point of view, we can do to remove from this deal the things that are not right for us, or how we can come to an agreement with the United States,” Giammattei told Reuters. That stance makes sense to Giammattei, partly because roughly 80 percent of Guatemalans dislike the deal:

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