Migrant families are left stranded after being expelled from the US under Biden’s ‘cruel, unlawful and ineffective’ immigration rules as the number of people crossing the border rises to 21-year high
- Central American families have been forced to travel through 3 countries in 24 hours, with many dropped in remote jungle outposts along the Guatemalan border after being denied entry into the US
- The Biden administration launched a new measure to make it harder for migrants to return to the US border
- Migrants are put on flights in Texas and flown to Mexico, before being sent across the border into Guatemala
- Pro-immigrant groups sent a letter to Biden Friday slamming his policies as ‘cruel, unlawful and ineffective’
- The number of people crossing the US-Mexico border reached 212,672 in July – the highest month in 21 years
Hundreds of migrants have been left stranded after being expelled from the US under the Biden administration’s ‘cruel, unlawful and ineffective’ immigration rules.
Central American families with young children have been forced to travel through three countries in the space of 24 hours, with many being dropped in remote jungle outposts along the Guatemalan border after being denied entry into the US.
The expulsion is part of the Biden administration’s new measure which aims to make it harder for migrants to return to the US border to seek asylum in the future.
Dozens of pro-immigrant groups slammed the policy Friday, penning a letter to Joe Biden and his top immigration officials branding it and other deterrent measures as ‘cruel, unlawful and ineffective’.
The number of people crossing the southern border from Mexico into the US has surged in recent months, rising to a 21-year high in July, with DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas admitting in leaked audio this week that the migrant crisis is ‘unsustainable’.
A smuggler pulls a boat carrying migrants across the Rio Grande river between Mexico and Roma, Texas, on Saturday
Migrants step out of the boat onto the bank of the Rio Grande after crossing the border to enter the US on Saturday
Central American families pray on the banks of the river while waiting to be processed by US Border Patrol agents in Texas
Asylum-seeking migrant family from El Salvador Dori, 25, Pablo, 25, and their daughter Isabela, 2, sit on the ground after crossing the Rio Grande river
Families sit on the banks of the river waiting to be taken by the US National Guard to be processed by US Border Patrol agents
In Friday’s letter, more than 80 organizations urged the Biden administration to restore the ability of all migrants to claim asylum in the US and eschew any new policies that limit asylum access.
The organizations asked Biden not to adopt any policies that force migrants to wait in Mexico for the resolution of their US cases, which they said ‘would unquestionably put individuals in danger and violate US asylum law.’
The letter specifically said the groups were ‘gravely concerned’ about the flights to southern Mexico and reports that migrants were then bused from there to a remote part of Guatemala.
Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the Los Angeles-based National Immigration Law Center, which signed the letter, said the flights signaled the Biden administration was taking a more restrictive stance.
She said it appears Biden is focusing only on arrests and deportation and not on the rights of the asylum seekers.
‘That absolutely contradicts what the Biden administration said they were going to do,’ Hincapié said.
Biden vowed to take a more humane approach to the migrant crisis than his predecessor Donald Trump.
After taking office, he reversed many of Trump’s policies including the Remain in Mexico policy, which kept migrants south of the border while waiting for their hearings, effectively allowing migrants who have applied for asylum to cross into the US and begin legal proceedings.
The number of people crossing the southern border from Mexico into the US has surged in recent months, rising to a 21-year high in July
Migrant families with young children cross the Rio Grande river Saturday. From there, many will be expelled from the US under the Biden administration’s ‘cruel, unlawful and ineffective’ immigration rules
Border patrol agents check families on the banks of the river. Central American families are being sent through 3 countries in 24 hours, with many dropped in remote jungle outposts along the Guatemalan border after being denied entry into the US
Families embrace after reaching land. The Biden administration launched a new measure to make it harder for migrants to return to the US border
He also narrowed the ICE’s criteria for arrests and deportations and stopped the building of Trump’s border wall.
However, Biden kept in place one of Trump’s most limiting measures which allows US authorities to expel migrants caught crossing the southern border back to Mexico.
Last week, the US began flying some Central American and Mexican migrants caught at the border from Brownsville, Texas, to Villahermosa and Tapachula, in southern Mexico – close to the Guatemalan border – in an effort to deter crossers.
Flights will take Central American migrants to southern Mexico 24 times a month at first, with a US official telling ABC News the plan is to ramp the number of flights up further in time.
Many migrants have spoken out to reveal that they are not told where they are going when they board their flights in Texas with some believing they are headed for California.
Migrants are seen arriving into Texas. After being processed by the US, many will be put on flights in Texas and flown to Mexico, before being sent across the border into Guatemala
Pro-immigrant groups sent a letter to Biden Friday slamming his immigration policies as ‘cruel, unlawful and ineffective’
The US said the new measure aims to make it harder for migrants expelled under pandemic-related restrictions that prohibit them from seeking asylum to return to the border
Then, from southern Mexico they have been told to walk across the border into Guatemala.
They were not asked by US or Mexican authorities if they needed protection from their country, they said.
One shelter in El Ceibo – with space for 30 people – has taken in around 4,000 migrants in the last eight days.
Andres Toribio, who runs the Bethlehem Migrant Shelter in El Ceibo, said since the US started the flights his shelter has been strained by the new arrivals on top of the usual deportations made by Mexican authorities.
‘We have capacity for 30 people. Yesterday we received 100,’ he said.
‘We’re talking about those that Mexico’s immigration expels and the ones they´re sending on the [US] flights every day, some 500 migrants left here at the border.’
Most are women and children, he said, adding that human traffickers are also on the prowl giving the migrants false information to sell their services.
‘What we’ve seen here is the suffering of these people,’ said Toribio.
A US Border Patrol agent wearing a respirator to protect against Covid-19 processes unaccompanied minors after they crossed the Rio Grande
New data released this week showed Customs and Border Protection (CBP) encountered more than 212,672 migrants along the US-Mexico border in July
July’s numbers mark the highest monthly total in 21 years and a 13 per cent increase on people crossing the border in June
Unaccompanied migrant children wait to be transported by US Border Patrol after arriving into Texas Saturday
Migrant families are escorted out of a private property by the US National Guard after crossing the Rio Grande river
Agents process migrants at the US-Mexico border as America continues to see an overwhelming number of people enter the country
‘They don’t know where they’re being left. They don’t know what Peten is like. It is a huge territory. People think they’ll be in a city in 20 minutes, but Santa Elena is the closest city and it’s 108 miles.’
Mayorkas said Thursday that the new measure aims to make it harder for migrants expelled under pandemic-related restrictions that prohibit them from seeking asylum to return to the border.
He also said the US will expand an online asylum registration system in the hopes migrants will apply remotely, adding that more changes would be announced in the coming days.
Mayorkas did not say which asylum seekers would be eligible to use the online system.
This comes as new data released this week showed Customs and Border Protection (CBP) encountered more than 212,672 migrants along the US-Mexico border in July.
This marks the highest monthly total in 21 years and a 13 per cent increase from June.
The new figures take the Biden administration toward the 1 million mark since taking office, with a total of 934,257 between February and July.
In June, CBP reported it encountered 188,829 illegal immigrants at the border, which was the previous decade-long high before this month’s figures were released.
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