As many as 8,000 Honduran migrants busted through a wall of law enforcement officers at the Guatemala borders and are on their way to the United States. The migrants from Central America were a part of a migrant activist group looking to make the 4,000-km long journey and call on President-elect Joe Biden and his administration to honor their commitments.
During Biden’s campaign trail, he had promised to reverse many of President Trump’s immigration and border security policies, as well as end the Migrant Protection Protocols. This would remove the waiting time in Mexico for asylum-seekers during the duration of their immigration court cases, which President Trump argues has helped end the pull factors that bring migrants north.
President-elect Biden also promised a pathway to citizenship for nearly 11 million immigrants residing in the country illegally, which includes a moratorium on deportations by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The migrants’ group has called on Biden to stick to the comprehensive immigration package and provide a faster path to citizenship.
“We recognize the importance of the incoming Government of the United States having shown a strong commitment to migrants and asylum seekers, which presents an opportunity for the governments of Mexico and Central America to develop policies and a migration management that respect and promote the human rights of the population in mobility,” the statement read. “We will advocate that the Biden government honors its commitments,” Migrants right group Pueblo Sin Fronteras stated.
President-elect Biden, however, has told migrants that this process wouldn’t happen overnight. His incoming domestic policy adviser Susan Rice has issued that the administration is going to prioritize reopening the asylum processing at the border consistent with doing it safely, especially regarding COVID-19. Most of the migrants forced their way through the borders without showing the negative coronavirus test that Guatemala requires.
Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei called this a violation of national sovereignty and called on the Central American government to take measures to avoid putting their citizens’ health at risk during the COVID-19 pandemic. Migrants would be looking to cross Guatemala to reach Mexico, despite Guatemalan and Mexican governments indicating they intend to turn them back.
Acting Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Mark Morgan blamed the tone of the incoming Biden administration for the tidal wave of illegal immigration like they’ve never seen before.
“We’re looking at two groups that are well over five thousand. And one of those groups have already gotten through the Guatemala border. And they’re on their way to El Rancho, which is about the located centrally in Guatemala. It’s coming. It’s already started, just as we promised and anticipated it would with this rhetoric from the new administration on the border,” said Morgan.
The Democrat Party has taken a weak stand on illegal immigration and is already facing trouble at the beginning of President-elect Biden’s term. That’s the problem when you use the term “open” borders.