In recent months an estimated 170,000 people have arrived at the U.S.- Mexico border, the largest influx of individuals in one month in over a decade.
By Ally Sullivan
The largest question circulating for many Americans who are watching the ongoing crisis at the border is, why so many immigrants at the moment, and what is the Government doing about it? Fingers point at the Biden Administration as a result of a more relaxed stance toward immigration, however research has developed that the main motivator for the surge is due predominantly to climate change, corruption, and violent crime within Southern American regions.
The initial surge came after hurricanes devastated much of Central America, leaving many Hondurans and Guatemalans displaced without food and shelter. As they have accounted for the majority of the immigrants the group greatly consists of those traveling as unaccompanied minors.
Families of the unaccompanied minors are faced with sending teenagers, and even young children on the long journey to the border. The children are attempting to be unified with parents or guardians already existing within the U.S. The Biden Administration is struggling to guarantee housing for the unaccompanied minors, or being able to work fast enough to release the children to proper guardians at the rate that they arrive at the border.
This is not a new situation, but it is more prevalent than ever. At least 220 people died along the Arizona-Mexican border in 2020, considered the deadliest year recorded. Recent research done by the Southern Border Communities Coalition reported that since 2010, 199 of deaths at the border have been because of violence from U.S. Border agents, as well as several died in border custody. Rollbacks on policy changes such as the MPP or the “remain in Mexico”, that forces migrants to remain in their country while their cases are pending, are in effect according to government officials.
President Biden's initial response is to set up immigration triage facilities and shelters within the countries, so the individuals can begin to seek asylum within the U.S. to slow the influx of immigrants collecting at the border. However, Biden has yet to address an overall plan for the migrant surge and speculations circle as to what it will emphasize. Will the MPP be completely revoked? In the upcoming summer months, more will be revealed to the public surrounding the ongoing Border Crisis.
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Ryan Ford '23,