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Border Update: Biden administration addresses the mass migration causes

The Biden administration addressed the root causes of the migration from Latin America to the United States and new statistics are released about the border.

Vice President Kamala Harris explained the reasons why people are fleeing from Latin America at the Washington Conference on the Americas, on May 4. The factors include catastrophes, such as Hurricanes Eta and Iota, the pandemic, a 5-year drought and extreme food insecurities and long standing issues, including corruption, violence and poverty stemming from lack of good governance, economic opportunity, climate adaptation, and climate resilience. “We are focused on addressing both the acute factors and the root causes of migration,” Harris said.

The Biden Administration is implementing a comprehensive strategy to address both factors by involving many sectors including community organizations, foundations, the private sector, governments and international institutions.

The plan aims to:

  • Strengthen cooperative actions between the United States and other governments in Latin America to take on corruption, lift up their communities and provide safety and security for their citizens.

  • Establish the role of governments outside the region and international institutions to help the Northern Triangle of Central America (Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador). The United States is working with world leaders and the United Nations to support their humanitarian response plan.

  • Go beyond government intervention and focus on what foundations, private-sectors, and community organizations can do to help aid and restore hope in the region.

The United States will send an additional $310 million to the region to support humanitarian relief and to address food insecurities, according to Harris.

Vice President Harris speaks at the Washington Conference on the Americas. Screenshot from YouTube

Immigration Quick Facts:

There was a significant increase of unaccompanied children at the Southwest border from Central America totalling 18,890. CBP coordinates with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to transfer unaccompanied children to Care Provider Facilities, including the San Diego Convention Center. The 30-day average of children transferring out of CBP custody has increased from 276 at the end of February to 507 at the end of March, due to the expansion of bed capacity at the facilities.

Migrations Protection Protocols for asylum-seekers

Nearly 4,000 asylum-seekers have been forced to remain in Mexico under the Migration Protection Protocols (MPP), according to American Immigration Lawyers Association. The Biden administration has promised to end MPP but said that it may take “months” to reverse the damage of Trump’s border policies, according to American Immigration Council.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced the beginning of the process to unwind MPP. The initial phase requires eligible individuals in Mexico to register online or by phone with the UNHCR and complete COVID-19 testing before they are permitted to present themselves at the port of entry.

Central Americans are not eligible for most free COVID-19 testing in Mexico and most do not have access to computers or the internet. This creates major barriers for individuals applying for asylum, which the United States has legal obligations to provide protections for those who qualify as a refugee, according to American Immigration Council.

As of February 19, there are at least 1,544 publicly reported cases of murder, rape, torture, kidnapping and other violent assaults against asylum seekers and migrants forced to return home under MPP, according to Humans Rights First.

Although the Biden administration is taking action at a slow rate, there are still many difficulties facing those seeking asylum with COVID-19 testing, accessibility to computer labs and digital literacy.

At One Digital World, our mission is to connect asylum seekers with the tools and services that are necessary to navigate the ever-changing migrations regulations. Visit our website here:

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