America’s Continued Migrant Crisis
From Girish Modi, Decatur, GA
There are more than a million migrants released into the U.S. annually, and Congress repeatedly failed to provide more funding and immigration reform to fix what he has called a “broken” system. What is a magnet is the fact that the time in between an encounter of an individual at the border and their final ruling in their immigration case can sometimes take six or more years.
Biden administration is facing increasing pressure over handling of the crisis by pushing for deeper legislative reform and funding. But Republicans have blamed the crisis on the Biden administration’s policies, including its rolling back of Trump-era policies, narrowed ICE enforcement and its expanded releases over 5,000 illegal immigrants a day into the U.S. interior, and that doesn’t include the migrants being let in at ports of entry.
Biden is asking for $14 billion for border funding. But Republicans have said that the package must increase limits on asylum and the administration’s use of parole, which they say attracts migrants to the border. Senate Democrats have balked at those demands.
That’s why Biden is increasingly leaning on Mexico to curb the record flow of migrants crossing into the U.S., but Mexico has its own lists of ambitious demands for the U.S. Mexico is asking the U.S. to approve a plan that would deploy $20 billion to Latin American and Caribbean countries, suspend the U.S. blockade of Cuba, remove all sanctions against Venezuela and grant at least 10 million Hispanics living in the U.S. the right to remain and work legally.
All of those are extremely tall demands of an administration headed into a re-election campaign that may hinge on how firmly Biden is able to get control of the southern U.S. border, which saw record 300,000 migrants processed by Customs and Border Protection in December. Mexico brings significant leverage to the negotiations, since it would prefer that President Joe Biden win re-election in November, given Donald Trump’s rhetoric and actions during his time in office. But Biden is quickly running out of options to fix a problem that is driving down his poll numbers without increased support from Mexico. New asylum policies introduced by the Biden administration in May failed to deter migrants, as evidenced by the record surge.
To bring the numbers down, the Biden administration needs Mexico to let it push more non-Mexican immigrants back across the U.S. southern border, as the U.S. was able to do through early 2023. Mexico took back migrants over 1 million times each year for three years. Under current policies, Mexico has agreed to take back 30,000 migrants per month. U.S. negotiators also want Mexico to step up enforcement on its southern border with Guatemala and deport more migrants who are apprehended within the country.
Mexico is willing to help the U.S. by increasing enforcement, but it wants more financial aid for policing its borders. Mexico also wants the U.S. to show good faith about addressing the root causes of migration by investing more in programs to help Central and South American countries escape poverty. Mexico sees itself caught in the middle of a U.S. problem as most migrants are U.S.-bound and has depleted resources to taking in more migrants than its cities can handle.
(This submission is not edited.)