The 14,000 migrants held in Del Rio, a small municipality in southern Texas, on the border with Mexico, have become the latest face of the immigration crisis. The caravan, made up mainly of Haitians, managed to enter the United States last Thursday and since then has waited in a precarious camp under the bridge that links the two countries. The US government of Joe Biden has closed the border to prevent the entry of more groups and has insisted that migrants arriving illegally will be “returned” to their countries of origin. “If you come to the United States illegally, you will be expelled. His trip is not going to be successful and he will have endangered his life and that of his family, ”said the Secretary of National Security, Alejandro Mayorkas, at a press conference in Del Río.
The arrival of the caravan has unearthed friction between the US and Mexico over the immigration policy to follow. In his conference this morning, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has demanded solutions from the Democrat beyond “containment” and “coercive” measures. The Mexican president insists on creating social programs in places of origin and offering migrants work visas in the United States.
A huge caravan, made up of thousands of migrants, including Nicaraguans, Venezuelans and Cubans, managed to cross into Texas on Thursday after having crossed Mexico. There they were held by US agents and grouped in a massive encampment. The number of people grew over the weekend, when more than 14,000 gathered, according to Bruno Lozano, mayor of Del Río. To the municipality of 35,000 inhabitants, 400 agents from the Customs and Border Protection Office have been displaced.
The position of the United States towards migrants follows the rails of that already applied by Donald Trump: “We have reiterated that our borders are not open,” Marsha Espinosa, spokesperson for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS, for its acronym) said this weekend. in English). The goal, according to Espinosa, is “to ensure that irregular migrants are detained, processed and quickly removed from the United States.”
Massive repatriation flights to Haiti and forced displacements to other Texas cities, such as El Paso, began over the weekend, as reported Reuters. Biden’s strategy is to “accelerate the pace and increase the capacity of return flights to Haiti and other destinations within the next 72 hours.” This Monday, the agents have reinforced with tapes and officers on horseback the points through which the migrants were entering, who had crossed the Rio Grande through a shallower area.
Fearing being returned to their country, after a journey that lasts months, some groups and families of Haitians are returning to Ciudad Acuña, in the Mexican state of Coahuila, to wait. Trapped in a camp without water or food, sleeping on the ground and with just a few toilets, migrants have denounced the conditions in which they have been held by the US border patrol during these days.
The US detained nearly 209,000 migrants in August, 2% less than in July, but still at levels not seen since 2000, according to the US Customs Office. The Biden Administration has been expelling migrants under the rule known as Title 42, an exception in the health law that allows “hot” deportation of undocumented migrants and asylum seekers. Donald Trump invoked it for the first time in March 2020, with the excuse of the pandemic. The Democratic government renewed it last August.
The López Obrador Executive began with Trump his policy of containing Central American migrants from southern Mexico to prevent them from reaching the border with the US Since then, some Mexican cities bordering Guatemala have become open-air prisons where thousands of people await the resolution of their asylum applications.
The bet of the Mexican president is to establish training programs and job training, which have already begun in Mexico, also in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador: “90,000 people could be kept in their countries of origin of all those who emigrate due to lack of work. ”. For the project, he asks for the budgetary collaboration of the US In addition, López Obrador has demanded that the US president offer temporary work visas. “It would not harm anyone,” López Obrador wrote to Biden in a letter that he released this Monday, because the US “requires an additional workforce to boost its economic growth and reduce its imports from Asia.”
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