No Easy Way Out For Biden Administration On Migrant Surge, Experts Say

Pedro Mercado, 27, of El Salvador walks with one of his two daughters at an intake area after turning themselves in upon crossing the U.S.-Mexico border Wednesday, May 12, 2021, in La Joya, Texas. Mercado uses a crutch after his leg was injured in a machete attack in El Salvador. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) – Vice President Harris is back home after asking help from the leaders of Guatemala and Mexico to bring the migrant surge under control. Now comes the hard part – getting it done, experts on immigration say.

“As you get closer to the true causes of migration, which is a system that views (migrants) as commodities, disrupting that isn’t going to be easy,” said Dan Restrepo, senior fellow for the Center for American Progress and former special assistant for Western Hemisphere Affairs for the Obama administration. “I think (the Biden administration) recognizes that … the need to talk about things that need to happen to disrupt the status quo at the heart of migratory patterns we’ve seen in the past 15 years.”

That includes putting pressure on “the corrupt and their enablers,” who are people in government and the private sector in Central America benefiting from migrant trafficking.

“It is a crucial element of the path forward,” Restrepo said.

Another is surgically increasing aid to the region from where most of the unauthorized migrants are coming from now.

Agents stop 180,034 migrants at border in May, but number of unaccompanied children plummets
According to figures released Tuesday by the Department of Homeland Security, most “encounters” or apprehensions of family units and unaccompanied children involved citizens of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. U.S. immigration agents took custody of 180,034 migrants in May, an increase over the 178,854 encountered in April. Including March, more than half a million people have crossed the border illeally in three months.

“The food assistance has been ramped up significantly in response to the storms that hit (Central America) late last year. (It was) $42 million during Trump, now it’s $300 million and we will continue to see expansion due to need to address the root causes” of migration, Restrepo said.

By Julian Resendiz for BORDER REPORT
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