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The migration crisis at US South border and the changes with Joe Biden

The immigration crisis on the southern border of the United States has worsened again, now with Joe Biden as President. In April 2021 alone, 170,000 people were arrested, 10% of them unaccompanied minors, the highest figures in the last 20 years, and much higher than the nearly 50,000 detained each month on average with Obama and Trump as Presidents. The number of detained migrants attempting to cross the border has been steadily declining since the 00's with G.W. Bush, from about 1.5 million annually down to 375,000 on average during the last 10 years. Despite the differences in their speeches, Obama deported an average of 400,000 migrants each year, while Trump deported 250,000. Biden implemented several measures on immigration policy from the first day at office:

• Lifted the veto on the entry of people from some Muslim countries that Trump had decreed after several terrorist attacks occurred during the last years of Obama. • It launched a plan to give citizenship to around 11 million illegal immigrants who have lived in the United States for more than 8 years.

• Gave permanent protection for Dreamers, who are young illegal immigrants that are studying at an upper education level or working. • An Executive Order to provide free legal assistance to illegal migrants during their trials. • A stop to the construction of the border wall and suspended the State of Emergency promoted by Trump (with this, extraordinary federal funds were granted to mitigate the crisis). • Suspended the ‘Remain in Mexico’ program, by which asylum seekers had to wait in Mexico for the resolution of their cases, and ended the policy of separating families who await their legal processes at migration stations. • An aid package to Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador worth 4 billion dollars over a period of 4 years to boost economic growth in the region. In return, these countries have to increase the number of soldiers patrolling their respective borders. • Increased the refugee quota the United States takes in annually from the 15,000 persons set by Trump, to 125,000 by the next year. Most of the migrants who try to cross into the United States come from Central America, and many of those interviewed say they have done so because of the rumor that Biden will have an open border policy with migrants who wish to cross. Given the urgency of the situation, Biden has publicly addressed the migrants, expressly telling them: "Do not come here, do not leave your countries."

The political Left in the United States denounces the poor conditions in the migration stations for being saturated and the long waiting times to obtain a visa. While the Republicans accuse Biden of hypocrisy for the double messages. Some Democrats have also criticized the government for encouraging migrants to travel to the United States, and thus creating reception problems. In Mexico, López Obrador has congratulated Biden on his initiative to grant citizenship to migrants, but has criticized that these migrant policies have provoked a huge flow of Central American migrants on the southern border, causing also a problem for the Mexican government.


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