(Noted News) — Following the Biden administration’s 180 on immigration policies, a flood of migrants from South America and Central America have been overwhelming the southern border of the US.
According to sources at Reuters, Mexican authorities are working to stem to flow of migrants, most of whom are making their pilgrimage from Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala.
“The operations will be more frequent, more continuous and we will be taking part,” said an anonymous member of the National Guard.
Since most of the people who get rejected at the US border are subsequently sent back to Mexico, authorities have been overwhelmed with young migrants wandering the streets and neighborhoods. February’s numbers at the border were a record high, with numbers for March expected to go higher.
Reuters sources aren’t giving exact details on how Mexico plans to cut the migration flows, but in the past, Mexican migration authorities have caught most of the illegal migrants on a narrow strip of land in the southern part of the country, slightly north of the Guatemalan border where difficult terrain can thwart apprehension efforts.
So far, migration authorities have begun apprehending migrants without paperwork near Tapachula, according to the anonymous National Guard member.
The Biden administration is shaping their border policy to be a more humanitarian approach to immigration, whereas Republicans are viewing it as an irresponsible invasion, “dangerous” for both the migrants and Americans.
On March 15, a group of top Republicans visited the El Paso border checkpoint to slam Biden’s new policies that they say have created an uptick in lone children crossing the border sparking fears of child trafficking.
“The security of our nation and our border is first and foremost the responsibility of our president,” Kevin McCarthy said in a speech.
“This crisis is created by the presidential policies of this new administration. There’s no other way to claim it, than a Biden border crisis…It’s more than a crisis. It’s human heartbreak.”
White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters, “It’s a complicated problem, no doubt about it.” According to her, US officials are trying to send a message to migrants that given the pandemic, now is not the time to come. At the same time, they want to keep a level of empathy.
“We are sending the message clearly in the region, ‘Now is not the time to come.’ But also, we want to ensure that people are treated with humanity, who are children, who are unaccompanied children. That’s who we are as a country and so we are doing both.”
As early as May 2020, it became clear that Central America was one of the hardest-hit regions of the world not by the COVID-19 virus, but by the economic effects stemming from the restrictions.
According to reliefweb.net, the shutdown of businesses has been accompanied by an explosion of violent and organized crime.
“Smaller gangs, or those with less economic capacity, are threatened by more established
groups and may try to survive by diversifying into violent street crime, extortion, kidnappings, and attacks. Despite COVID-19 quarantines and stay-at-home orders, Mexico’s homicide rate hit a new high in March 2020. In multiple states, violence targeting civilians has increased during the pandemic compared to months prior, including in Jalisco, Sonora, and Nuevo Leon. The escalation suggests that some groups are using the crisis to expand and reinforce their presence. For example, in Nuevo Leon, attacks on civilians hit unprecedented levels in April compared to the last 12 months, with multiple drive-by shootings. Several new criminal groups have emerged recently and this state alone is disputed by at least six groups seeking to seize the territory to transport drugs to the United States.”
According to reliefnet’s report, the pandemic is creating opportunities for drug cartels to assert themselves over government authority.
“The pandemic has created new opportunities for cartels to enlarge their role in local communities. In several Mexican states, cartels have taken steps to address the health crisis by imposing curfews, simultaneously challenging the government’s authority and demonstrating their power in areas under their control. The economic fallout from the pandemic is also magnifying existing inequalities in Central America, which gangs are eager to exploit. This is not a new phenomenon: organized crime groups have long mixed largesse with terror and violence to establish themselves among marginalized communities, delivering goods and services to demonstrate territorial control, form a social base, and develop their brand. The current health emergency offers additional avenues for cartels to exercise authority and to generate legitimacy.”