Under pressure from the increase in the number of children detained at the border with Mexico, US President Joe Biden will relaunch the program that allows children fleeing situations of violence in Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala to remain in the territory American.
White House border coordinator Roberta Jacobson told a press conference on Wednesday that the Democratic leadership will reinstate the Central American Miners Initiative (CAM). This policy was in effect between 2014 and 2017, when former President Donald Trump ended the program.
CAM allows migrants under the age of 21 whose parents are legally living in the United States to apply for a refugee resettlement interview in their country in order to avoid the dangerous path that leads many of them to the United States.
The move is Biden’s latest step in immigration policies. During the presidential campaign, the Democrat promised to take a more humane approach to immigration policies than the previous government.
In fact, there have been advances in this direction, such as the signing of a series of executive orders which, among other measures, seek to reunite immigrant families separated under the Trump administration and the suspension of the work of enlargement of the wall on the border with Mexico.
Some members of the Republican Party criticized Wednesday’s decision, saying the measures ended up encouraging migrants to face this route to reach the United States.
“The Biden border crisis is real and getting worse,” said Kevin Brady, Republican Congressman from Texas.
At the same time, Democrats are complaining that the president is not acting fast enough to free detained children from the border patrol.
US officials have urged people not to attempt to cross the border, warning they will be sent back. Biden has maintained his predecessor’s measure that allows for rapid deportation due to the coronavirus pandemic, but has not enforced the standard for unaccompanied minors.
The Biden administration’s rationale for continuing to implement Trump’s resolve is that the measure gives the current administration time to implement deeper changes to the U.S. immigration system.
“The border is not open,” said Jacobson. The message, however, is not effective. According to Troy Miller, who serves as US Commissioner of Customs and Border Protection, 100,400 migrants were found attempting to illegally cross the border with Mexico in February, the highest number in a month since mid-2019.
Of these, more than 19,000 were families, around 9,500 unaccompanied minors and the rest adults. Jacobson blamed the coyotes – agents who receive money to smuggle immigrants across borders – for the dump.
White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said members of Biden’s leadership team responsible for immigration briefed the president on the situation at the border after a visit and discussed how to accelerate the process of migrant children.
According to a statement by a State Department official, released Wednesday, the Democratic administration is ready to restart processing of CAM applications, starting with cases suspended in the Trump administration, then opening up to new ones. applications.
The planning for the portfolio is to start contacting parents on March 15th. To date, the initiative has reunited around 5,000 children with their parents.