Heritage: Biden wants ‘open borders’ as far south as Guatemala to continue illegal immigrant flow

The Biden administration wants not just the United States’ border with Mexico kept open, he’d like to see the borders all the way south to Guatemala wide open.

According to Victoria Coates, vice president for foreign policy and national defense at The Heritage Foundation, and Lora Ries, director for the foundation’s Border Security and Immigration Center, Homeland Security and the State Department have turned down an offer from Guatemala that aimed to slow the steady flow of migrants from Central America.

“Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei told us that earlier this year in an interview that he asked Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and Secretary of State Antony Blinken for help closing Guatemala’s border with El Salvador and Honduras to help shut off illegal migration north,” Coates and Ries write in an op-ed for Fox News Digital. “But, Giammattei says, Mayorkas and Blinken rejected his offer.”

“We have seen documents that support his contention, and reached out to the administration for comment, but it did not respond,” the duo adds.

Giammattei, they say, “has been a strong U.S. ally fighting against illegal immigration in Central America.”

Coates and Ries explain:

On January 14, 2022, for example, he proposed legislation in the Guatemalan Congress to increase penalties for human smuggling and urged its swift approval. Congress passed the bill only 15 days later, increasing criminal sentencing from six-to-eight years up to 10-to-30 years, and up to 50 years for aggravated cases.

It was after that when Giammattei asked the State and Homeland Security Departments for help securing Guatemala’s southern border. The Guatemalan Embassy in Washington, D.C., followed up with May 11, 2023, correspondence to both departments. This communication includes documentation of specific and calculated resources needed to secure Guatemala’s southern border. 

Claiming the Department of Homeland Security lacked the necessary resources to give Guatemala a hand in this effort, Mayorkas and Blinken turned Giammattei down, according to Guatemalan officials.

“Yet it’s no secret that the Biden administration disdains Giammattei, a pro-life, pro-Taiwan, and pro-Israel conservative, and likely had no interest in helping him during a contentious election to find his successor this summer,” Coates and Ries write. “President Joe Biden instead embraced leftist president-elect Bernardo Arevalo, who is scheduled to take power in January. There is no indication Arevalo plans to pursue Giammattei’s border security proposal.”

“These documents suggest that for political and ideological reasons, instead of seizing an opportunity to stop the flow of illegal immigration through Central America, the Biden administration is encouraging more – and even facilitating it,” they state.

As a “counterproposal to Giammattei,” the State Department launched in June 2023 the initial phase of “Safe Mobility Offices” — regional processing centers where migrants would be rapidly processed for “lawful pathways” to the U.S. — in Guatemala, Costa Rica, and Colombia.

The facilities “would do nothing to increase border security,” according to Coates and Ries.

“The State Department intended to eventually open 100 of these processing centers in the region, with support from DHS, the International Organization for Migration, and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees,” they write. “In its October 20, 2023, supplemental funding request, the administration is seeking another $1.3 billion to expand the Safe Mobility Office processing of mass migration throughout our hemisphere.

“Given these operations, it is obvious that Giammattei’s plan to secure Guatemala’s southern border and reduce migration was rejected by Mayorkas and Blinken because it’s contrary to Biden’s open-border agenda.”

“What the United States has is a process of invasion,” Giammattei warned. “There will be terrorists.”

Indeed, according to Coates and Ries, “A Guatemalan intelligence report stated that 20,522 people from nine ‘nationalities of interest’ for terrorism and drug trafficking – Afghanistan, China, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Russia, Syria, Turkey and Yemen – arrived in Guatemala between Jan. 1, 2022, and Aug. 31, 2023. ”

“The Biden administration has worked assiduously for nearly three years to ensure America’s borders remain open,” they state. “We now know it wants our southern neighbors’ borders open as well.”

“Congress should reject all funding for the administration’s open-border operations, including the Safe Mobility Offices and services south of our border,” they write. “Instead, funds should be channeled to ICE law enforcement agents to locate and detain the national security threats inside the U.S. to prevent potential terror attacks. Congress should also review the Giammattei plan and explore similar initiatives with interested partners in Latin America.”

Melissa Fine

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