A migrant caravan moving from Honduras toward the U.S. border called on Biden to honor his “commitments,” citing his vow to lift Trump’s restrictions on asylum.
Between 7,000 and 8,000 migrants, including families with young children, have entered Guatemala since Friday, authorities say. A statement issued by migrant rights group Pueblo Sin Fronteras, on behalf of the caravan, said it expects the Biden administration to take action. However, an unnamed Biden transition official said on Sunday that migrants hoping to claim asylum in the U.S. during the first few weeks of the new administration “need to understand they’re not going to be able to come into the United States immediately,” NBC News reports (US News).
The Biden transition official warned migrants against coming to the U.S. during the early days of the new administration, telling NBC that while “there’s help on the way,” now “is not the time to make the journey… The situation at the border isn’t going to be transformed overnight,” the official told the outlet. “We have to provide a message that health and hope is on the way, but coming right now does not make sense for their own safety… while we put into place processes that they may be able to access in the future,” the official said.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection issued a warning to migrants about the risks involved with the potentially dangerous journey as Guatemalan officials reportedly plan to deploy 4,000 soldiers to patrol their southern border amid rumors that some plan to begin the trip north before the end of the month. “Control will be strengthened with the borders we share with Mexico, Honduras and El Salvador and on the area of adjacency with Belize,” Rubén Téllez, a Guatemalan military spokesman, told Reuters last week, according to CubaNet.org. Only Hondurans with a valid passport and a negative coronavirus test will be allowed entry into Guatemala, its immigration authority announced Friday (BPR).
Joe Biden has promised to reverse many of Trump’s policies on border security and immigration. He has promised to end the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), which keeps migrants in Mexico as they await their political asylum hearings. The Trump administration has said the program has helped end the pull factors that bring migrants north. Biden has also promised a pathway to legal permanent residency for those in the country illegally and a moratorium on deportations by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The migrants’ group also pointed to promises to end the asylum cooperative agreements the administration made with Northern Triangle countries. Trump warned last week that ending his policies and increasing incentives would lead to “a tidal wave of illegal immigration, a wave like you’ve never seen before,” claiming that there were already signs of increased flows (FOX).
POLITICS EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: AP PHOTO