Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei said that President Joe Biden's confusing messaging on immigration led to the migrant crisis by encouraging human smugglers to drop off children at the U.S.-Mexico border.
Giammattei made the comments in an interview with Ayman Mohyeldin of MSNBC.
"The president has been talking and speaking very compassionately about migration, certainly children migration," Mohyeldin said. "Do you believe that the president's message about compassion is making the situation worse or is indirectly encouraging migrants to informally migrate to the U.S.?"
"I am nobody to make a judgment here, but I believe in the first few weeks of the Biden administration, messages were confusing," responded Giammattei, translated into English by MSNBC.
"They were compassionate messages that were understood by people in our country, especially the coyotes, to tell families, 'we'll take the children, the children can go in and once the children are there they will call their parents.' And so those messages were confusing. Not because of the way they were communicated, but because of the way they were translated here," he explained.
Giammattei went on to say that the crisis was concerning because the unaccompanied minors were more likely to fall into the hands of cartels and the prostitution network as they tried to make their way into the U.S.
Mohyeldin also asked Giammattei to respond to the conditions in U.S. detention centers for those who were caught at the border. He said that the coyotes, the smugglers who lead the illegal migrants into the U.S., were far more inhumane. He also said that it would be difficult for any nation to provide the proper conditions for a massive wave of migrants.
"What I can say is that no government, no matter how large or strong, can have that gigantic apparatus that would be required to address 30 or 40 thousand people in detention centers and have all of them in a status where they're claiming refuge," Giammattei said.
The Biden administration is exploring the possibility of sending cash payments to countries, including Guatemala, in order to stabilize the governments and economies so that migrants feel less of a push to migrate northward.
Here's the interview with Guatemala's president:
Guatemalan President On Migrant Crisis | Ayman Mohyeldin | MSNBC www.youtube.com