The Biden administration announced that they are in the process of ending asylum agreements with Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Guatemala that required many migrants to ask for asylum in one of those countries before petitioning the U.S. The goal was to stop the flood of migrants who traveled to the U.S. in one of the caravans that made the long trek from Central America to the U.S.
It’s interesting that the Biden administration would end these deals just when thousands of migrants were gathering at the border to await the president’s approval to enter the U.S.
The pent-up demand for asylum and refuge in the U.S. will cause a torrent of migrants to rush the border when Biden gives the green light. The administration actually felt it necessary to claim that the U.S. border wasn’t wide open, although it may as well be given what Biden has been ordering recently.
“To be clear, these actions do not mean that the U.S. border is open. While we are committed to expanding legal pathways for protection and opportunity here and in the region, the United States is a country with borders and laws that must be enforced,” Blinken said in the statement.
“We are also committed to providing safe and orderly processing for all who arrive at our border, but those who attempt to migrate irregularly are putting themselves and their families at risk on what can be a very dangerous journey,” he added.
The president reinstituted the “catch and release” border policy last week so if the migrants can put two and two together, they can pretty much figure on entering the U.S. one way or another if they show up at the border. Whether they show up at their hearing or not is another issue, although a majority do. The point is simple; if they don’t show up for their asylum hearing, their chances of disappearing in America are pretty darned good.
The state department explained there are better ways to manage the crisis than making international agreements.
The Biden administration believes there are more suitable ways to work with our partner governments to manage migration across the region. The United States will build on our strong relationships and support these governments’ efforts to address forced displacement without placing undue burden on them, especially in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our approach will continue to provide support for their national action plans under the Comprehensive Regional Protection and Solutions Framework through international humanitarian partners.
We will address the root causes of forced displacement and irregular migration, including by combatting corruption and impunity, upholding our obligations to protect refugees, and working collaboratively with our partners to promote opportunity and prosperity for people and communities across the region.
It’s good that Biden wants to address some of the regional issues that lead people to flee poverty, violence, and corruption. All presidents say that. But these are virtually failed states, run by warlords and gangsters with jungle law in effect. It is the people of those nations who must deal with these problems, not the U.S., who couldn’t do anything about the wretched conditions even if we really wanted to.
The alternative to throwing the gates open and allowing anyone to come in is to develop policies that recognize that reality. Trump’s imperfect solutions — none of the agreements really went into effect — could have been built upon. Instead, they’re being tossed aside as the drive to erase everything about Trump and his government — positive and negative — is just getting started.
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