It is a situation that is a bit hidden outside the United States but which is, after the health crisis, the current subject of Joe Biden. It is the influx of migrants to the Mexican border. And in particular unaccompanied minors. The numbers are impressive.
Nearly 10,000 children – 9,500 to be exact – were intercepted last month, down from just under 6,000 in January. These minors are placed in overcrowded barracks without being able to bathe thinking for days.
Lawyers at the scene say they sleep in huge tents planned for 250 people, but there are a thousand. Adolescents, but also very young children.
They arrive in groups or alone, sometimes hugging phone numbers of loved ones scrawled on a sheet of paper. The government announced today that 1,000 teens will be housed in a convention center in downtown Dallas.
Poverty and natural disasters in Central America
For the Ministry of Security, the situation dates back to last April. Due to natural disasters and poverty, mainly in the Salvador, Honduras or Guatemala. Unlike adults who can be returned to the place, minors must be welcomed and their situation treated. For this reason, desperate, some parents risk sending their children to the border.
While waiting for a comprehensive immigration policy, Joe Biden promised that unaccompanied minors would have their asylum applications processed quickly. Normally, they must be entrusted to the health service. a maximum of three days after arrival on American soil. The health services are overwhelmed and cannot do it. So Washington asked FEMA, the agency that handles emergency situations, to come as backup.
Biden caught between Democrats and Republicans
Republicans explain the spectacular rise in the past month because of Joe Biden’s promises, which would have raised hopes. In any case, the overall numbers (not just the kids) are impressive: 100,000 arrests at the border in February, and it will be even more in March since customs evokes 4,000 daily arrests at this time.
As a result, this catastrophic humanitarian situation becomes an internal political problem. Joe Biden is starting to get criticized from all sides. He’s caught in a vice: On their side, the centrists don’t want the Democrats to be treated as lax. From the left, we press for these migrants to be treated with the greatest dignity.
As for Republicans, as they don’t have much control over health policy, they see this as an angle of attack for the midterm elections. Proof of the politicization of the matter, the leader of the Republicans in the House of Representatives arrived with a delegation at the border. And he gave a press conference saying: “I came here because I found out about this crisis. It is more than a crisis, it is a humanitarian heartbreak.”
Well, he didn’t say that, but it’s also a pretext for playing politics. Border security is one of the main issues to mobilize the base of the Republican Party. The fact that there are many minors makes the matter even more delicate. This situation is above all terrible for migrants. Politically she’s picky for Joe Biden. During the campaign he had promised that at this point he would stand out from Donald Trump. And at the moment it does not succeed.