Panama is reportedly struggling to handle a significant surge of migrants from outside the Americas entering their country illegally en route to the U.S. amid the Biden administration’s lenient border policy that has driven a record number of people to try to enter the United States.
It appears Biden’s welcoming message and partially open-border policy, overseen by U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, has been heard across the globe.
Non-Latin American migrants sneaking into Panama have been the canary in the coal mine for an impending wave of migrants from Africa, the Middle East, and other places outside the Western Hemisphere heading to the U.S.
Citing Panama’s Foreign Minister (FM) Erika Mouynes, Bloomberg reported Thursday that Panama is having trouble addressing “a five-fold increase in migrants who trek for days through its dense southern jungle in the hope of reaching the U.S..
Thousands of migrants traveling from outside the Americas, including Africa and Asia, are beginning to overwhelm Panama’s shelters, the FM revealed, describing a situation similar to that at the U.S. southern border.
Mouynes told Bloomberg:
The migrant situation has gotten a lot worse. We give them food, we put them in camps where you do biometric testing and Covid [coronavirus disease] testing. That is fine if you have numbers you can manage, but if all of a sudden you have five times that amount it becomes difficult.
Panama’s migration authority documented 5,818 illegal foreigners trying to cross from Colombia in April, up 477 percent from January.
Haiti and Cuba are reportedly the primary sources of migrants entering Panama. However, people are attempting the harrowing journey to eventually reach the U.S. from as far away as Bangladesh and Uzbekistan.
In April, U.S. Border Patrol also encountered a record number of migrants (over 178,000), predominantly from the Central American Northern Triangle countries of Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico, marking an increase of nearly 10-fold from the same month last year.
On May 12, Breitbart News learned from DHS data almost 34,000 people from countries other than Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala, or El Salvador, arrived in April.
In March, the DHS chief conceded the U.S. faces the most numerous surge of migrants at its southern border in two decades.
In May, the New York Times revealed President Joe Biden and his deputies have already opened the southern border to a growing wave of economic migrants — ineligible for asylum under current law — from outside Central America and the Americas overall.
U.S. Border Patrol encountered people from more than 160 countries seeking to enter America in recent months, including some from distant countries like India, the Times noted. Biden’s immigration authorities released most of them into the U.S. to be reunited with friends and relatives.
The Times conceded that financial woes in their home countries made worse by the Chinese coronavirus pandemic “coupled with the Biden administration’s more welcoming policies — is driving much of the new surge” of migrants from inside and outside Latin America.
“Migrants [from outside Latin America] enter South America in places where visa rules are favorable, then make their way north to Colombia, before crossing into Panama across the dangerous no-man’s land known as the Darien Gap,” Bloomberg noted.
Panama has served as a transit country for migrants from Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and other regions worldwide seeking to do whatever it takes to enter the United States, including crossing the deadly Darien Gap.
Some analysts consider the Darien Gap, a jungle, lawless wilderness stretch straddling Colombia and Panama, the most hazardous trail of all for migrants fleeing war, persecution, and poverty.
The Biden administration has allowed some migrants to enter the United States despite the Trump-era pandemic control protocols (Title 42) that enable the government to remove any migrant to their country of origin quickly.
Although President Biden kept the policy, he loosened the rules, progressively allowing exceptions to asylum seekers, namely some families, unaccompanied children, and single adults deemed vulnerable such as sexual minorities, pregnant women, and those with medical problems.
Asked what makes someone ineligible for removal under Title 42, CBP Acting Commissioner Troy Miller indicated last month that the Biden administration is only applying Title 42 removals to Latin American countries.
“So Title 42 is mainly, the easiest way to say this, for Spanish-speaking nations,” he said. “So some of the folks (not removed under title 42) you are talking about would have been from other locations.”