“If there is a perception of more-humane policies, you are likely to see an increase of arrivals at the border,” T. Alexander Aleinikoff, the director of the New York-based Zolberg Institute on Migration and Mobility, told the NYT for a December 13
report titled, “As Biden Prepares to Take Office, a New Rush at the Border.”
NYT‘s report showed how several deported migrants explained their rational decision to undergo arduous and risky treks through the dangerous deserts, amid U.S. surveillance and sweeps:
Alfonso Mena, his jeans ripped at the knee, shivered with his companion on a bench less than 300 yards from Arizona and sobbed uncontrollably. “What wouldn’t you do to help your children get ahead?” he said. A landscaping job in Houston awaited him, he said, and his family was counting on him. “We are not bad people. We come to work.”
Mena and other migrants, according to the
likely the leading edge of a much more substantial surge toward the border, immigration analysts say, as a worsening economy in Central America, the
disaster wrought by Hurricanes Eta and Iota and expectations of a more lenient U.S. border policy drive ever-larger numbers toward the United States.
Progressive supporters for migration admit the cause-and-effect: “In people’s mind, they believe that a new administration will open the borders and give them an opportunity to stay,” said Dora Rodriguez, the founder of
Salvavision, in Tuscon, Arizona. “We are expecting a large number of people.” President Donald Trump carried out a
popular lower immigration policy of “Hire American,” and gradually blocked the Central American blue collar migration wave that was created by President Barack Obama after 2010.
Those Trump curbs helped push up Americans’ median household income by seven percent in 2019, and boosted Trump’s support among blue collar Americans, including many Latinos — but infuriated healthy progressives and investors.
But after Biden’s election, many foreign people are hoping to take advantage of Biden’s border promises. The
Miami Herald reported December 10:
Thousands of Cubans have started to join other migrants in caravans heading for the U.S. southern border to apply for political asylum, Cubans in Latin America have told el Nuevo Herald.
From Guyana to Paraguay and Chile, Cuban migrants are posting notes on social networks to join the caravans, which have already created problems in Suriname because of border closures due to the coronavirus. Nearly 500 Cuban migrants, including children and pregnant women, are stranded in campgrounds there.
“I came to this country three years ago with my two children and my husband. I came from Cuba to escape the misery, but we’re in the same situation here. Without work and without assistance, living in a neighborhood with drugs and violence,” Janet Figueroa, one of the members of a caravan in Suriname, told el Nuevo Herald.
reported December 10 from flood-damaged Honduras:
A few hundred Hondurans formed a caravan bound for the United States on Wednesday after hurricanes battered the country, posing a fresh challenge to efforts to stem illegal immigration from Central America on the cusp of a new U.S. administration.
Mostly younger migrants with backpacks and some women carrying children left the northern city of San Pedro Sula on foot for the Guatemalan border after calls went out on social media to organize a caravan to the United States.
“We lost everything, we have no choice but to go to the United States,” an unidentified middle-aged man in the caravan with his wife and cousin told Honduran television.
The warnings flags are also being waved by a wide variety of Democratic immigration activists, including Leon Fresco, a lawyer who helped write the 2013 ‘Gang of Eight” cheap labor bill. In an interview with
The World radio show, Fresco warned:
What’s been done to the asylum program under President Trump hasn’t comported with the Democratic Party’s values, that’s certainly true, you do run a practical problem that if you sort of undo all of that very quickly. You could risk a border surge during the COVID-19 crisis.
In 2014, migrants took control of the border after Obama and his deputies quietly opened a series of loopholes for Latin American migrants. While tens of thousands of migrants rushed over the border, an Associated Press poll in late July 2014 showed that he had only
14 percent approval for his immigration policy, down from 25 percent in December 2013. Disapproval spiked to 57 percent, up from 45 percent in 2013.
Most of the 2014 migrants are still living in the United States —
often with their children who were later delivered to them by government agencies.