President Joe Biden predicted on Tuesday that the US-Mexico border will be “chaotic for a while” when pandemic-related restrictions end.when 550 active-duty soldiers began arriving and the migrants weighed whether and when to cross.
The restrictions have been in place since 2020, and have allowed US officials to quickly send migrants back across the border. It will end later this week and the United States is putting in place a raft of new policies that would clamp down on illegal crossings while offering immigrants a legal path to the United States if they apply online through a government application, have a sponsor and pass on a background. Checkups.
Biden said his administration is working to make change orderly. “But it still has to be seen,” he told reporters. “It’s going to be messy for a while.”
Biden and Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador spoke for about an hour on Tuesday to discuss the border. Mexico shares a 1,951-mile border with the United States, so the nation is key to the success of any plans By the United States to control immigration at the southern border.
Migrants are already arriving. About 100 people – most of them from Colombia – crossed the border before dawn on Tuesday and walked nearly two hours through the remote, boulder mountains east of San Diego to a sandy plateau where they were watched by Border Patrol agents.
Andres Parra, 39, left Colombia on Friday, headed for Tijuana, Mexico, and paid a smuggler $300 to guide him to a mountain peak near the clients, who succumbed to it. He fled Colombia because frequent robberies and extortion made life difficult.
He said he wanted to enter the US while the restrictions were still in place, because he had heard it would be more difficult after Thursday.
“It won’t be so easy anymore,” he said.
Agents in the relatively quiet El Centro, Calif., sector for the US Border Patrol stopped about 260 migrants a day over four or five days through Sunday, up from about 90 a day the week before, said Gregory Bovino, the sector chief. On Monday, agents found migrants from 22 countries.
In the Mexican border city of Reynosa, across from McAllen, Texas, groups distributed flyers on Tuesday explaining in English and Haitian Creole how to sign up for the CBP One app the United States was using to allow immigrants to schedule a try. Obtaining admission to the United States
Standing in Reynosa’s central square on Tuesday, Vanord Reynell from Haiti said he wouldn’t risk deportation to cross. “We don’t want to go back there (Haiti) because the situation is very complicated there,” he said. “If we can’t cross, we have to put up with it here, maybe the government will do something for us, but crossing illegally – no.”
Both US and international law give immigrants the right to seek asylum. However, the United States has used Title 42 of the Public Health Act to expel immigrants who have no chance of obtaining asylum 2.8 million times since March 2020 on the grounds of preventing the spread of COVID-19.
The Biden administration has said it is ready to deal with whatever happens after Title 42 expires, though it has repeatedly criticized Congress for not making changes to the country’s immigration system.
“We believe we have a robust process in place to deal with what happens after Title 42 lifts. Once again, we are using the tools at our disposal because Congress refuses to do its job on the limits,” White House Press Secretary Karen Jean-Pierre said Tuesday.
The troop movement is part of the effort to enhance security along the southern border, but they will primarily be used to help monitor and monitor the border, or do data entry and support, and “are not there in any way to interact with,” said Brigadier General Pat Rider, Pentagon press secretary. The goal is to free US Customs and Border Protection personnel to carry out law enforcement activities.
At least some of the troops operating near El Paso, Texas, will be used, he said, adding that CBP will decide where the troops will go. More than 900 additional Soldiers, Marines, and Airmen will follow at the end of May.
Approximately 2,500 National Guard personnel are deployed across all sectors of the border, providing a range of support to the CBP, including surveillance, detection and airlift. Separately, Texas National Guard troops also operate along the border under state authority.
Even as COVID-19 asylum restrictions remain in place, the administration has seen record numbers of people crossing the border. The Biden administration’s plan aims to crack down on those crossing illegally and by creating new pathways aims to offer alternatives to the dangerous and often deadly journey.
Some immigrants have been motivated by false information from smugglers or rumors about what the changes will mean for their chances of remaining in the United States.
“It is a very complex legal system and it is becoming increasingly difficult to communicate the facts to our clients,” said Daniel Berlin, of the International Rescue Committee. “While we try to communicate the most accurate and up-to-date information we have, smugglers, traffickers and other bad actors pass on false information.”
The effects have also been felt far beyond the southern border. In Chicago, Mayor Lori Lightfoot issued an emergency declaration in response to a tenfold increase in the number of asylum seekers arriving in the city in need of temporary shelter and other assistance.
Chicago officials have been warning for several weeks that its shelters cannot accommodate the greater number of immigrants who have been arriving daily since late April. Migrants have been sheltering inside city police stations or airports because city-run shelters are full.
Associated Press reporters Rebecca Santana and Elliot Spagat in Imperial, Calif., Mark Stephenson in Mexico City, Katie Foddy in Chicago, and Gerardo Carrillo in Reynosa, Mexico, contributed to this report.
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