Guatemala asks Trump to guarantee 'protection' of migrants
Guatemala City (AFP) - Guatemala on Wednesday asked Donald Trump to ensure the "protection" of migrants in the United States, fearing his campaign promise to deport undocumented foreigners.
"Guatemala hopes that the actions his administration will take will allow recognition of the precious contribution migrants make to the United States, and that his policies promote and ensure the respect, well-being and protection of the migrant population," the country's foreign ministry said in a statement.
During his campaign for the US presidency, Trump vowed to deport millions of migrants who did not have papers to legally live in America, and said he would jail any deported illegal migrant who attempted to return.
He also repeatedly promised to build a wall across the US-Mexican border to prevent such immigration.
The United States has an estimated 11 million undocumented migrants, the overwhelming majority from Latin America, especially Mexico and Central America.
Guatemalan authorities say around 1.5 million Guatemalans live in the United States, of whom less than a third are legal residents.
Much of Guatemala's economy depends on remittances US-based Guatemalans send back to their families.
The foreign ministry said Guatemala's government wants "to work closely" with Trump's administration to address common priorities in the region, and wished Trump "a successful term."