The U.S. is a country that was created by immigration and in which immigration is a pressing political issue.
The Pentagon sent 1,500 soldiers and marines to assist 2,500 National Guardsmen on the U.S.-Mexico border. The decision comes in the wake of the repeal of Title 42 of the U.S. Code, which was passed in March 2020 under the pretext of a public health emergency during the COVID-19 pandemic and which allows migrants attempting to seek asylum in the United States to be expelled without investigation.
From May 11 of this year for 90 days, security forces will work together to maintain order along the entire 3,145-kilometer line of one of the most crossed borders in the world.
The decision was finally made as a result of agreements reached by senior U.S. and Mexican officials on a new immigration policy aimed at curbing illegal border crossings, as well as opening other avenues in anticipation of an expected increase in the number of migrants following the lifting of Title 42 restrictions.
Under the agreement, Mexico will continue to accept up to 30,000 refugees a month from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua and Venezuela who are trying to illegally enter the United States, and up to 100,000 migrants from the "northern triangle" of Central America - Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador - who already have families in the United States. The "humanitarian program," which includes the right of "conditional release" for attempting to cross the border illegally, will provide two years of permission to live and work in the United States.
The Biden administration also intends to create centers outside the United States for people "fleeing violence and poverty" so they can legally obtain asylum in the United States, Spain or Canada. The first such migration centers are planned to open in Guatemala and Colombia.
Initially, they are expected to process between 5,000 and 6,000 applications per month for legal entry into the United States. Customs and passport control offices will be set up at the border to quickly identify undesirable persons and punish illegals trying to enter the U.S. through third countries.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas said the creation of such centers "would encourage migrants to avoid smugglers and get them to take advantage of legal entry into the United States."
Strangely enough, Republicans did not believe the top Biden administration officials and created the Latin American Conference, a group of 18 congressmen in the House of Representatives that began work on their own immigration and border legislation package. House Majority Leader Steve Scalise, a Republican, said during a news conference that the bill being drafted, in addition to imposing strict border enforcement and strict limitations on asylum for migrants, would involve three areas of immigration policy: recognizing drug cartels as terrorist organizations, increasing criminal penalties for fentanyl smuggling, and increasing wages for Customs and Border Protection agents.
Steve Scalise called the Republicans' draft "the strongest border security package Congress has ever passed."
Whether this is true will be shown by the vote in the Senate, where a slim majority remains for the Democrats, who in this case prefer to pursue a more liberal policy and not bring the situation with tens of thousands of refugees on the border into unmanageable chaos.
The U.S. is a country that was created by immigration and where immigration is a pressing political issue. By 2019, migrants from Latin America alone accounted for 6.5 percent of the population. Not surprisingly, Mexico, which shares a border with the U.S., is the largest source of Latin American migrants.
According to the Census Bureau, immigrants make up nearly 14 percent of the U.S. population, or about 45 million people out of a total of nearly 332 million in 2020. Combined, immigrants and their children born in the United States make up about 26 percent of America's population, and some demographers predict that number will reach 36 percent by 2065.
Before 2013, almost everyone who tried to cross the U.S.-Mexico border was a Mexican citizen, and most of them were looking for work. In 2019, the proportion of Central Americans reached 81 percent.
Today, immigrants come from dozens of countries, including Peru, Venezuela, Haiti, India, China, Russia and Ukraine (from the beginning of special military operation has an advantage over other "guests") and other countries, according to the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), a private U.S. international relations organization. Migrants from Africa and Asia make up 10 percent of "travelers."
But Mexicans and natives of the "northern triangle" of Central America are above competition, accounting for almost half of all those who cross the Mexican border illegally. According to Mexican border guards, almost half a million migrants were detained last year, 44% more than in 2021. Ronna McDaniel, chairwoman of the Republican National Committee, said U.S. authorities detained about 192,000 people trying to cross the border from Mexico in March.
The surge in Central American migration has strained the U.S. immigration system, with more than 1.8 million cases pending in immigration courts as of June 2022.
Over the past three years of Title 42, U.S. authorities have recorded a peak number of illegal border violations with Mexico and have been forced to expel more than 2.5 million people from the country. This forced President Biden, who did everything in spite of his predecessor, not only not to repeal Trump's Title 42, but to tighten measures against illegals this time.
Why did the situation "suddenly" change? The current White House administration's intention to repeal Title 42 did not accidentally coincide with Biden's announcement of his intention to run for president. And in this case, he will be in dire need of the "Latino" vote. Experts expect tens of thousands of migrants to rush over the border to the north of Mexico after the restrictions are lifted. U.S. agents recorded more than 8,000 migrant detentions along the southern border last week alone, with officials predicting that the number of illegal crossings will exceed 10,000 a day after May 11.
Already, a new migration surge has led to overcrowded U.S. border control checkpoints and jail cells. According to The Washington Post, more than 20,000 migrants are in detention at border checkpoints, more than twice the capacity of the Rio Grande Valley in South Texas, the most crowded sector of Customs and Border Protection.
Local officials recall like a bad dream the year of 2021, when thousands of migrants, mostly Haitians, waded across the Rio Grande opposite the Mexican city of Ciudad Acuña and set up a makeshift camp on American territory near Del Rio, Texas, creating a situation of humanitarian chaos.
Migrants from Venezuela, Haiti, and other countries pass through the dangerous Darién Gap, a 93-mile stretch of rainforest between Colombia and Panama where armed gangs run rampant. More than 110,000 migrants crossed the rainforest in seven years, from 2014 to 2021. In 2021, the number rose sharply to 134,000, and in 2022, it nearly doubled to 248,000.
Republicans argue that Biden actually has an "open door" policy and that drug cartels and traffickers thrive in such an environment.
It remains to be seen how the new immigration policy will be implemented. But already tens of thousands of migrants from Central America's northern triangle are moving toward Mexico, and a similar number of refugees from Cuba, Haiti, Venezuela and other South American countries have crossed the deadly Darién toward the U.S. border, according to the Panamanian government.
Local law enforcement, U.S. Customs and Border Protection are preparing for their encounter by conducting a full-scale exercise at Gateway, one of three international bridges crossing the U.S.-Mexico border between Brownsville, Texas, and Matamoros, Tamaulipas, simulating an emergency response to an actual attempt by large numbers of migrants to storm the bridge and illegally enter the United States.
You are welcome, dear migrants!