Mexico’s government will open migrant camps to deal with the “humanitarian emergency” caused by President Joe Biden’s welcoming message for Central American migrants, the Los Angeles Times reported Monday.
According to the Times, “Mexico says it plans to open 17 new camps in coming weeks and months in southern states to accommodate migrant families and kids.”
It is not clear if the camps will be used to house migrants who are denied entry at the U.S. border, or if they will only be used for migrants caught at Mexico’s southern border.
Currently, Mexico cannot house and feed the migrants traveling through its territory and those quickly returned from the U.S. under pandemic health protocols known as Title 42, a measure invoked by the Trump Administration and kept in place by the Biden administration.
Last week, Politico reported that Democrats and immigration advocates accuse the Biden-Harris administration of keeping Title 42 in place to limit immigration, not protect the country against the Chinese coronavirus, highlighting another example of different views among the Democrats over how to handle the border crisis. Members from both parties have blasted the Biden administration for not providing any solutions.
On Monday, the Lost Angeles Times reported:
[W]ith most migrants … quickly returned under pandemic health protocols, Mexico is facing its own crisis — an escalating humanitarian emergency caused by what authorities and advocates call an unprecedented increase in migrant families traversing its territory.
The Mexican government has failed to develop a strategy to care for the tens of thousands of migrant women and children expelled by U.S. authorities or in transit or stuck somewhere in Mexico. Instead, Mexican authorities have mostly outsourced the task to an over-stretched patchwork of private and religious charity outfits, medical aid organizations and sundry good Samaritans.
Soon after taking office in January, Biden ended the Remain in Mexico program, which had proven remarkably effective in ending the Catch and Release policy whereby migrants are arrested and subsequently released into the U.S. interior while awaiting their asylum hearings.
President Biden vowed to allow migrants who had enrolled in the program during the Trump administration and were waiting in camps in Mexico back into the United States.
As of May, the Biden administration had released thousands of migrants who had enrolled in the Remain in Mexico program, offering them work permits to take American jobs.
The U.S. is now facing an almost two-decade high in U.S. Border Patrol apprehensions, along with a sharp increase in arrivals of families and unaccompanied minors, the majority from the Central American region known as the Northern Triangle (Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador).
Although the Biden Administration is not applying Title 42 to unaccompanied children and some families while claiming that the border is closed, the historic migrant surge has resulted in the U.S. denying admission to many people, mostly Central Americans, who end up in Mexico.
Echoing some Central American governments, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s (AMLO) administration continues to blame the Biden administration’s immigration policy for the ongoing border crisis at the U.S. southern border.
The LA Times noted:
Mexican officials say that, aside from poverty, crime and other issues in their homelands, migrants are propelled by two factors: Somewhat relaxed border controls under the Biden administration, especially for children; and the belief of some parents that crossing as a family might facilitate entry into the U.S.
Although Mexico is no longer accepting families with small children, it still takes in deported migrants under Biden, who wants the country to take even more.
Under federal law, the U.S. can only provide asylum to groups fleeing political and religious persecution — not to people fleeing poverty. This rule means border agents can deny them access to U.S. asylum courts.