As the illegal immigrant crisis at the United States border spirals out of control, the Mexican government is raising the alarm about the influx.
Agents from US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) have reported the apprehensions of over 100,000 illegal migrants along the country’s southern border with Mexico during the month of February. The graph, depicting the number of apprehensions, shows a marked spike of 26 percent from January 2021, and a 170 percent increase from one year ago.
Mexico’s president has highlighted that Biden’s policies are helping drive the dramatic surge.
“They see him as the migrant president, and so many feel they’re going to reach the United States,” Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said of Biden following a virtual meeting with Biden on March 1.
“We need to work together to regulate the flow, because this business can’t be tackled from one day to the next.”
Reuters, after speaking with Mexican officials and reviewing internal documents, indicated that organized crime is warning that organized crime is benefitting from Biden’s policies, and that these criminal groups have changed their operations “from the day Biden took office” and now displayed “unprecedented” levels of sophistication. According to intelligence from the Mexican government, these organized gangs are eyeing US measures that are believed to “incentivize migration”.
Mexico is voicing concern that migration levels are surging due to Biden ending Trump policies that saw illegal migrants deported back to Central America along with orders to streamline legalization of immigrants in the country.
The gangs also see an opportunity with the migrants, with Attorney General of Chihuahua Cesar Peniche saying that the large influx of migrants at the border has resulted in gangs recruiting them as drug mules while others are being kidnapped to raise money. He indicated that Mexican and US policy needs to be clarified to cut down on illegal immigration.
Not a crisis?
As the crisis along the US-Mexico border continues to intensify, the Biden administration labeled the sheer number of illegal immigrants as “overwhelming”, after Wednesday’s Southwest Land Border Encounter Report by CBP officials revealed that the total of apprehensions was the highest February total since 2006.
However, the Biden administration’s press secretary said that they did not want to label the situation at the border a “crisis”, and were instead calling it a “border challenge”.
The surging number of illegal migrant apprehensions have taken place directly alongside Biden’s first full month in office. It should be noted that since assuming high office in January, Biden’s halted all construction of the border wall, and he’s replaced a series of Trump-era migration policies with pro-mass migration ones.
The situation along particular areas of the US-Mexico border, like the infamous migrant camp Moria situated on the Greek island of Lesvos, has become particularly dire in recent months. As of a CBS report on the March 8 indicated, more than 3,200 of illegal unaccompanied migrant minors currently reside in Customs and Borders and Protections facilities – the “highest in the agency’s history”.
As the migration surge presently shows no signs of abatement, authorities in the US are considering moving “underage” illegal migrants to a NASA airfield in Silicon Valley, California. According to reports from The Washington Examiner, authorities have looked and continue to look at other properties in and around California’s tech hub Silicon Valley.
“The Department of Health and Human Services has requested federal agencies to determine whether they have currently vacant properties that might be available and suitable for potential future use as Temporary Influx Care Facilities for unaccompanied migrant children,” Darryl Waller, a spokesman for NASA, mentioned to ABC News on Wednesday.
“HHS and NASA’s Ames Research Center are coordinating a site assessment of some currently vacant property at Moffett Field, California, for HHS personnel to determine whether certain facilities at the site might be suitable to temporarily provide shelter space in the future. This effort will have no impact on NASA’s ability to conduct its primary missions,” Waller added.
“The border is not open,” CBP Senior Officials Performing the Duties of the Commissioner Troy Miller said.
“The United States is continuing to strictly enforce our existing immigration laws and border security measures,” Miller continued. “Those who attempt to cross the border security measures, those who attempt to cross the border without going through the ports of entry should understand that they are putting themselves and their family in danger, especially during the pandemic.”
Last month, the number of apprehensions of migrant families in February jumped 163 percent from January’s total, and was the highest since September of 2019. While fentanyl seizures were barely down in February, drug seizures, at present, are up 50 percent from January 2021.
The statistics indicate that there is a real risk of this current surge of illegal migrants turning into a tidal wave by the time the height of the migration season rolls around in May.
Most migrants attempting to illegally cross into the United States originate from Mexico, as well as South and Central America.