The Biden Administration has secured “commitments” with Mexico, Guatemala, and Honduras to secure their borders and stem the flow of migration overwhelming the U.S.-Mexico international boundary, a top U.S. official and the White House said Monday.
Nevertheless, the “commitments” exclude El Salvador, a country fueling the border crisis, amid friction between the Biden administration and Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele. The Salvadoran leader worked with former President Donald Trump on reducing illegal migration, likely drawing the ire of Democrats.
In an interview with MSNBC on Monday, Special Assistant to the President for Immigration for the Domestic Policy Council Tyler Moran mentioned a two-pronged approach to address the Biden border crisis.
The approach involved processing unaccompanied alien children safely inside the U.S. and dealing with the roots for migration to America.
We’re addressing the reasons that people are coming from the region. This is really important. If you just focus on our border, you’re not addressing why people are actually coming to our border. The president has a blueprint, and he’s working with the vice president on this.
Early this month, members of Biden’s own party, including Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX), blasted the president’s plan to address the causes of migration, led by Vice President Kamala Harris, saying that the U.S. has long been researching the issue and it is well aware of the reasons.
Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, acknowledged the agreements the Biden Administration made with Mexico and most countries in Central America’s Northern Triangle region, which encompasses El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras.
Psaki told reporters Monday:
There have been a series of bilateral discussions between our leadership and the regional governments of Mexico, Honduras, and Guatemala. Through those discussions, there was a commitment … to increase border security.
So, Mexico made the decision to maintain 10,000 troops at its southern border, resulting in twice as many daily migrant interdictions. Guatemala surged 1,500 police and military personnel to its southern border with Honduras and agreed to set up 12 checkpoints along the migratory route. Honduras surged 7,000 police and military to disperse a large contingent of migrants.
Asked whether the plan was to apprehend the migrants before they reached the U.S. border, Psaki said, “I think the objective is to make it more difficult to make the journey and make crossing the borders more — more difficult.”
Republicans have lambasted President Biden for putting children and other migrants at risk, including girls who get raped by human traffickers, by rescinding his predecessor’s immigration policies.
In an interview with Breitbart News, Mark Krikorian, the executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), downplayed the new agreements, saying it is only a way to show Americans that the Biden administration is doing something about the crisis. However, the Biden administration, in reality, does not want to reduce the flow of migrants.
Some polls show most Americans disapprove of Biden’s handling of the border crisis.
“Having Mexican and Central American police do the work for them is the best of both worlds for the Biden administration, because they won’t be criticized by their left supporters for actually enforcing the [immigration] law, but — they hope — they will be able to moderate the flow by having the Mexicans crack heads and prevent [too many] illegal aliens from making it to our border. In other words, they want to contract out the dirty work,” Krikorian told Breitbart News.
“They’re at least somewhat realistic about the limited ability of Mexico and Guatemala to do anything about this [on their own], but maybe they figure it’ll take the edge off it [migration numbers]. And they’re going to start in-country processing so they’ll be able to fly more and more and more people directly to the U.S., so that the news cameras at the borders won’t see anything, and that they will be able to muddle through,” he added.
On Sunday, the Washington Post reported that Mexico is restricting the number of migrant families it will take back from the U.S., forcing the Biden administration to accept most of them.
Mexico’s pushback would further complicate Biden’s efforts to deal with what the DHS predicts could be the biggest wave of migrants to the U.S.-Mexico border in 20 years.
Biden has seemingly refused to adopt his predecessor’s approach to pressure Mexico to become a crucial buffer zone between Central America and the United States.
The U.S. president’s new agreements with Mexico and some Central American countries also excluded the in-country asylum deals the Trump administrations made with Mexico and all of the Northern Triangle.
The Biden administration plans to revive and expand in-country asylum processing through the Obama-era Central American Minors (CAM) program that officials extended to adults in 2016.
Biden has tasked VP Harris to lead the White House response to the border crisis that polls show most Americans believe the president is not handling the problem well.