Immigrants throng US-Mexico border after Biden's promises creates confusion amid measures to stop them: CIS

The Center for Immigration Studies has accused the Biden administration of putting pressure on Mexico and Guatemala to block the immigrants' nothward movement even while putting up a humanitarian face

                            Immigrants throng US-Mexico border after Biden's promises creates confusion amid measures to stop them: CIS
President Joe Biden and immigrants at US border (Getty Images)

The Joe Biden administration has vowed to adopt a humanitarian approach toward immigrants wanting to enter the US territory after the Donald Trump years but on the ground, things are far from smooth. The relations between the US and Mexico could also witness some tensions over the same.

The Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) has said in a report that the caravan which was predicted at the US border might not materialize since Mexico has pledged that it would not allow it to pass. But the reality is seeing something different, alleges the conservative think-tank. The Mexican Embassy in Guatemala this week announced on its official Twitter account: “Mexico does not promote, nor will it allow the irregular entry of caravans of migrants into the national territory.”



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The situation in a number of adjacent nations in Central and North America has turned volatile in recent times owing to the immigrants. Last month, security forces in Guatemala blocked the way of people trying to enter the country from the neighboring Honduras en route the US. The government of Guatemala said it would not accept “illegal mass movements”. Mexico also shut a border entry point last month after several thousands of migrants tried to cross a bridge across the Suchiate River between Mexico and Guatemala. 

Several thousands have been fleeing Honduras to flee persecution, poverty and recent destruction caused by natural disasters and they target to reach the US border through Guatemala and Mexico. Every year, tens of thousands of migrants from Central America try the dangerous journey to reach the US, often on foot, for a better future. After Biden came to power, they are hopeful that the strict immigration policies pursued by the previous Trump administration will not be in force anymore. However, the Biden administration has cautioned the migrants not to undertake the ambitious journey saying the immigration situation will not change overnight

Migrants carry the flag of Honduras while on a caravan of immigrants en route to the Mexican border on October 18, 2018 in Guatemala City, Guatemala. (Getty Images)

The CIS, which is against immigration and backed some of Trump’s controversial policies at the border, said in its report that despite the Mexican authorities’ efforts which it even alleged happened on behalf of the Biden administration, several migrants from around the world are still managing to enter America’s cities and towns along the border areas of Texas and California.

'Mexico's operations part of US-led effort'

The CIS cited a Reuters report that said: “In the days before U.S. President Joe Biden’s inauguration, Mexican soldiers patrolling the banks of the wide Suchiate River found few migrants amid the flow of trade across the water from Guatemala...The operation was part of a U.S.-led effort, pursued by past American administrations and accelerated under former President Donald Trump, to pressure first the Mexican and then the Central American governments to halt migration well short of the US border.

“Under the Biden administration, the same general strategy is likely to continue, at least for the near term, according to six U.S. and Mexican sources with knowledge of diplomatic discussions.”

According to the report, while Biden has reversed many immigration policies that Trump had brought in, his administration has also asked Mexico and Guatemala to block the migrants’ northward movement, as per two official sources in Mexico and one in the US, all of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity.  

Members of a caravan of Central Americans who spent weeks traveling across Mexico walk from Mexico to the U.S. side of the border with supporters to ask authorities for asylum on April 29, 2018 in Tijuana, Baja California Norte, Mexico.(Getty Images)

The CIS conducted a survey of the reporting done by the Mexican media to say: “But despite significant Mexican counter-migration operations on behalf of the new U.S. administration, large numbers of migrants from around the world are still flowing into northern cities and towns along the border from Texas to California, powered by adrenaline from recent Biden moves to open the border wide.”

It was also reported that the immigrants were traveling to and through Mexico in small, discreet groups aided by smugglers instead of the noisy caravans that the authorities in Guatemala and Mexico have been halting in the times of Trump. It said things have not changed in times of Biden and cited the Reuters quoting diplomats and experts at immigration think tanks saying that it would be “politically expedient” for the current administration to keep asylum seekers and other migrants from trekking en masse to the US’s southern border.

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