President Joe Biden’s lenient immigration policies are attracting migrants from outside the Americas, who cross a dangerous Panamanian jungle to reach the U.S., a move that is reportedly resulting in the death of one out of every ten who dare take that route.
Known as the Darien Gap, a lawless wilderness stretch straddling Colombia and Panama, some analysts consider the region the most hazardous trail of all for migrants fleeing war, persecution, and poverty.
On Tuesday, the Epoch Times reported:
Roughly 10 percent of migrants who journey on the 7- to 10-day walk through the inhospitable Darien jungle, which extends into Panama from Colombia, don’t survive, according to war correspondent Michael Yon. … Of those who do survive come out with some sort of injury, disease, and haven’t eaten for roughly a week—the length of time it takes to complete the trek.
After spending three months interviewing people who crossed Darien, Yon revealed that the trek is full of dangers, with migrants getting robbed, caught up in flash floods, muddy waters, falling off cliffs, and contracting the potentially deadly yellow fever or cholera diseases.
Yon learned from the interviews that of the people who successfully make it through the jungle, almost all of them witnessed somebody die before their eyes or saw a body.
The Epoch Times added:
Aside from natural hazards, Yon said that based on his reporting, many women, particularly Haitians and Cubans, are raped and killed as they make the journey through the dense stretch of jungle to come north.
The Darien Gap has become one of the most important routes for illegally trafficking migrants—mainly Africans, Cubans, and Haitians—who try to reach the United States by passing through Central America.
Early this month, Bloomberg reported that Panama is struggling to handle a five-fold increase in migrants from Africa, Asia, Cuba, and Haiti, entering their territory illegally through the Darien jungle. An increase in illegal migrants entering Panama has served as a warning in the past for an impending wave of people from outside the Americas heading to the U.S.
“Migrants [from outside Latin America] enter South America in places where visa rules are favorable, then make their way north to Colombia, before crossing into Panama across the dangerous no-man’s land known as the Darien Gap,” Bloomberg explained.
Drawing the ire of the progressive wing of her party, Vice President Kamala Harris, during her trip to Latin America this week, warned migrants: “Do not come.”
“The United States will continue to enforce our laws and secure our border. … We, as one of our priorities, will discourage illegal migration, and I believe if you come to our border you will be turned back,” Harris added.
However, human traffickers, often controlled by drug cartels, could care less about such messages because they are “too busy ferrying” a record number of migrants into the U.S., VICE News noted Wednesday.
Migrants from outside Latin America also tend to pay more money, the top driver for human traffickers, to enter the United States.
Many smugglers tell their clients that entry into the U.S. under Biden’s immigration policies is all but guaranteed.
In May, the New York Times reported the Biden administration allowed exemptions to Trump-era pandemic control protocols (Title 42) to migrants from places such as Africa, Asia, and other regions outside the Americas. Title 42, kept in effect by Biden, allows for the removal of any migrant.
Instead of deporting the non-Latin Americans, the U.S. is now releasing most of them into the U.S., where they reunite with loved ones.
Even with court dates, migrants would have to wait years for a hearing due to the immigration court backlog worsened by the border crisis.
Many migrants sneaking into Panama have served as a warning for an impending wave of people, many from Africa, the Middle East, and other places outside the Western Hemisphere heading to the U.S.
So far, Haiti and Cuban migrants make up the bulk of the migrants illegally crossing the Darian Gap to enter Panama, Bloomberg noted.
Panama’s migration authorities documented 5,818 illegal foreigners trying to cross from Colombia in April, up 477 percent from January. Authorities are concerned that terrorists could be among those migrants.
U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) data revealed that almost 34,000 people from countries other than Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala, or El Salvador, arrived at the U.S. southern border in April.
That month, U.S. Border Patrol encountered a record number of migrants (over 178,000), predominantly from the Central American Northern Triangle countries of Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico, marking an increase of nearly ten-fold from the same month last year.
The border crisis continues to worsen under President Biden.
DHS data from May shows the migrant surge has only intensified despite assertions from the Biden administration that the border is closed to non-essential travel. President Biden is not applying Title 42 to unaccompanied children, some families, vulnerable single adults, and some migrants from outside the Americas.