About 8,000 Honduran asylum seekers have tried to hold a welcome party of sorts for President Joe Biden this month. Their efforts to reach the southern border of the United States were held back in at least two convoys thanks to agreements that President Trump struck with Mexico and Guatemala to use force to intercept illegal aliens. But Central America is still a boiling cauldron of those wishing to immigrate to work in the United States
Mr. Biden now has to come up with his own strategy. More resources can help at the border to process applicants. But without new incentives for immigrants to follow the law, the United States will remain heavily dependent on the militarization of immigration policy in Guatemala and Mexico to contain the inevitable flows of illegal aliens.
Hondurans seem to have logically concluded that, with the Democrats coming to power again, the restrictions on asylum under Trump were sure to be lifted. However, on January 17, NBC News reported that a senior Biden transition official said his message to the immigrants was that “this is not the time to make the trip.” The same official also said that they “need to understand that they will not be able to come to the United States immediately.”
Gentle words of warning did nothing to discourage the immigrants who set out on January 15th. By January 18, they had engaged in violent confrontations with the Guatemalan National Guard and the National Police. Mothers cried on the floor, holding their children, while young men blocked roads, threw stones, and tried to forge their way beyond the law.
Reports from the front Say Thousands would have returned. My sources say the rest have split into smaller groups that continue to move north. The White House said over the weekend that Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador – better known as AMLO – had agreed To continue working to “curb the flow” of illegal foreigners from Central America in Mexico. If they reach the US border, the Biden administration has warned that priority processing will go to those already on the asylum waiting list.
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