Three countries strike bilateral deals with the new Biden administration as the flow of migrants increases.
Mexico, Honduras and Guatemala have agreed to deploy troops at their borders to slow the movement of migrants trying to enter the United States, a Biden administration official said on Monday.
“We got deals for them to place more troops on their own border,” Tyler Moran, President Joe Biden’s special assistant for immigration policy, told MSNBC media.
“This will not only stop the traffickers and smugglers, and cartels that take advantage of children on their way here, but also protect these children,” Moran said.
The U.S. Border Patrol is struggling with an increase the number of people trying to cross the southwestern border into the United States due to violence, poverty, natural disasters, and lack of access to food in Central America and Mexico.
Customs and Border Protection (CBP) caught 172,000 people trying to cross the border in March, a 71 percent increase during the previous month.
Most of those captured crossing were single adults and CBP excluded 104,000 according to the latest data.
However, many of those apprehended at the border – 19,000 in March alone – were unaccompanied children who began to saturate CBP detention centers and the accommodation capacity of the Department of Health and Welfare. social (HHS).
Mexico has agreed to maintain 10,000 troops at its border, Honduras has sent 7,000 troops to disperse an emerging caravan of migrants and Guatemala has placed 1,500 troops on its border with Honduras, the press secretary of Honduras said on Monday. the White House, Jen Psaki.
Biden proposed comprehensive immigration reform legislation to the U.S. Congress, but the bill was not passed by lawmakers. The bill would provide a pathway to citizenship for 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the United States. Republicans and Democrats are far apart on the issue.
U.S. Republicans and some Democrats have criticized the Biden administration’s management of the border since taking office in January.
Biden sought to reverse the “family separation” and “stay in Mexico” of his predecessor’s asylum policies in an effort to implement a more humane immigration process that conforms to US law.
Republicans say Biden has encouraged a new massive influx of migrants attempting to enter the United States, which risks increasing drug trafficking, human trafficking and more COVID-19 infections.
Biden lost one of his top Central American migration experts last week. Roberta Jacobson, former US ambassador to Mexico, who had been assistant to the president and coordinator for the southwest border, will be leaving at the end of April.
The White House said Jacobson’s departure was “in line with his initial commitment to serve in the first 100 days of administration.”
The White House credited Jacobson with launch renewed efforts to address migration with Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras leading in part to the troop agreements announced today, Psaki said.
Biden asked Vice President Kamala Harris lead his administration’s work with those countries as Biden seeks to reverse the dismantling of the U.S. immigration system by the previous Trump administration.
Among the measures Biden has taken are investments in the Central American countries that are the source of most migration.
“We are addressing the reasons why people come to the area. It’s really important. If you just focus on our border, you don’t wonder why people actually come to our border, ”Moran told MSNBC.