Exclusive: Guatemalan lawmaker Warns Biden Admin that ‘trade not aid’ will resolve border crisis

By Jenny Goldsberry

Investigative columnist Sara Carter appeared on Fox News Sean Hannity Monday night with guest host Judge Jeanine Pirro to discuss President Biden’s massive failures at the border. Carter, who recently traveled to Guatemala, interviewed a number of senior diplomats, to include Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei.

However, Friday’s appearance highlighted her interview with Guatemalan Congressman Enrique Montano on how both nations are failing to resolve the growing economic crisis in Central America and why that has led to a severely broken border and exacerbated the western hemisphere’s immigration crisis.

“I just recently returned from a trip to Guatemala,” Carter told Pirro. “I’ve been there actually four times over the last two years, and I can tell you that they’re extraordinarily frustrated with the Biden administration.”

Over the years, the country has deteriorated, despite help from the U.S. Federal government according to President Giammattei, as well as other diplomats in the region.

“We saw enormous amounts of poverty, some areas in Guatemala that used to be bustling towns now like empty ghost towns,” said Carter. “And they’re saying, wait, it’s not about allocating money for humanitarian crisis that will end up in the hands and pockets of NGOs throughout Guatemala. What we need specifically is a free trade agreement, strong free trade agreement with the United States. Nobody’s facing those facts.”

Montano echoed Giammattei’s sentiments.

“Because it’s trade, not aid, we don’t want handouts,” Montano said. “We want the American market to be more open towards us. The quotas that we have in many of our products, which, by the way, are world class products, we need more quotas. We need the border to be open, maybe not for our nationals, but for our products. And then you’re going to build a strong Guatemalan economy. You know how to help countries economically.”

This isn’t a new concept, according to Montano.

The same concept already saw success in a neighbor country. “Look at Mexico. You had a free trade agreement with them and you helped Mexico again,” Montano said. “Immigration from Mexican nationals to the United States has dramatically decreased. Our countries have increased that.”

Meanwhile, other countries are stepping in to lend a hand.

“Judge Jeanine, one of the biggest concerns, they say, is that if we don’t build strong economic trade with Guatemala and our other Central American neighbors, the fear is that our adversaries, like China and Russia, will be encroaching even further into the region, presenting a direct threat in the Western Hemisphere and to the United States,” Carter added.

You can follow Jenny Goldsberry on Twitter @jennyjournalism.