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Biden’s Warning: US-Mexico Border Set to be Overwhelmed with Incoming Migrants

WorldBiden's Warning: US-Mexico Border Set to be Overwhelmed with Incoming Migrants

President Joe Biden has warned that the United States-Mexico border will be chaotic in the coming days as the Title 42 pandemic restrictions are lifted. These rules were implemented during the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic, when Donald Trump was president, to prevent people with the virus from entering the country. However, they have also been used to expel migrants trying to enter the country. With the lifting of these rules, thousands of migrants are expected to try to enter the United States, and a spike in asylum claims is anticipated.

Tens of thousands of people have already gathered at border crossing points, awaiting the expiration of the Title 42 rules overnight from Thursday into Friday. Some have already entered the United States by squeezing through the holes in the border fence. The Texan cities of El Paso, Brownsville, and Laredo have declared a state of emergency as they struggle to cope with hundreds of people who are already there, most of them from Latin America and some from China, Russia, and Turkey.

When asked if the United States was prepared for a surge in crossings, Biden told reporters, “It remains to be seen. It’s going to be chaotic for a while.” Biden’s opponents in the Republican Party have criticized his border policy, claiming that it amounts to throwing open the doors, and have forecast that more than a million people could arrive in the next three months, overwhelming an already-stretched system.

To deal with the expected surge of migrants, Biden has ordered 1,500 active-duty troops to the frontier to assist border patrol agents with processing applicants. With a presidential election 18 months away and immigration a regular fault line in the country’s fractious politics, Biden hopes that the new rules, and the influx of troops, will help stem the flow of migrants. However, Texas Governor Greg Abbott accused the president of “laying down the welcome mat.” He said he was sending members of the Texas National Guard to “hotspots all along the border to help intercept and repel large groups of migrants trying to enter Texas illegally.”

Some of these troops were visible on Tuesday at the border in El Paso, across from Mexico’s Ciudad Juarez. Hundreds of migrants who had already crossed the United States, many Venezuelans, were queuing in El Paso to hand themselves into border patrol agents.

The lifting of the Title 42 rules means that migrants will once again be able to lodge asylum claims and have their cases dealt with through the legal system, a process that can take years. However, the influx of migrants could overwhelm an already-overburdened system, and the fate of those seeking asylum remains uncertain.

The issue of immigration has long been a contentious one in the United States. The country has a long history of welcoming immigrants but has also faced waves of anti-immigrant sentiment. The current surge of migrants is just the latest chapter in this ongoing saga. While some see immigrants as a valuable source of labor and a vital part of the American story, others view them as a threat to American jobs and culture.

As the situation at the border continues to unfold, how the United States will respond remains to be seen. With an election looming and the issue of immigration sure to be a major point of debate, the fate of those seeking asylum hangs in the balance. The next few months will be crucial, both for the migrants themselves and for the United States immigration policy as a whole.

Previously, individuals fleeing the dysfunctional conditions in South America had an exemption from the Title 42 policy, which allowed them to seek asylum in the United States. However, as this measure is set to expire, many fear that they will be stranded in Mexico, with no means of returning home and no money to support themselves. This has resulted in a surge of migrants congregating at places like Sacred Heart Church in El Paso, Texas, hoping for charity and the chance to make it to other cities in the US where they may have friends or family.

Gleidys Losada, a migrant from South America, had waited for four months to lodge her asylum request, but to no avail. She was left behind by those who could cross through gaps in the policy and decided that she could no longer wait. Similarly, Eibor Tovar, a Venezuelan, believes that no policy changes will deter those desperate for a better life. As he explains, “When you are hungry, when a dictatorship represses you, you do whatever it takes to seek a better life.”

It is not just South American migrants who are seeking refuge in the United States. Yu Tian, a Chinese national, traveled from Wuhan to Hong Kong and then to Ecuador, where he boarded a bus to Colombia. According to a Reuters report, there has been a sharp increase in the number of Chinese nationals presenting themselves at the US-Mexico border. Many of them are facing economic aftershocks from China’s Covid lockdowns and difficulty obtaining US visas. Despite the Chinese embassy in Washington stating that they oppose illegal migration and calling for cooperation between countries, many Chinese migrants remain undeterred.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador recently spoke with US President Biden about immigration and the need for economic development in Latin America. They expressed a commitment to working together on issues such as migration, drug and arms trafficking, and cooperation for the well-being of the poorest peoples of their continent. However, with the ongoing surge of migrants at the US-Mexico border, it remains to be seen how this cooperation will translate into policy and action.

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