WASHINGTON – As thousands of Honduran immigrants make their way to the US border, the incoming Biden administration, just days before assuming office, has a message: Don’t come now.
President-Elect Joe Biden has promised to end the Trump administration’s strict immigration policies, with a focus on building a border wall and limiting eligibility for asylum.
But those promises can be put to the test in the first days of the new government. If migrants from Central America believe it is time to travel to America, the southern border can be quickly overthrown before the system is inflated.
A senior Biden transition team official said that there is a perception that the Biden administration will be able to allow all dependent seekers to enter the US.
“The situation on the border is not going to change overnight,” the transition official said in an exclusive interview to NBC News.
But the official refused to say when the asylum seekers could come to the US and whether they would be detained as they awaited court hearings.
An estimated 9,000 Honduran migrants are migrating from food-scarce regions devastated by two hurricanes, drought and economic scarcity. The Associated Press reported that on Friday night, about 2,000 members of the caravan pushed Guatemala officials and entered Guatemala without showing any documented or negative COVID screenings. The caravan may hit the US border in the coming weeks.
While some may be motivated by the promise of an easier path for the US, the increase in immigration in previous elections has been around US elections and the transition to power. Migration had increased in late 2016 and early 2017, just before Trump took office, and caravans from Central America arrived in Southern California in 2018, around midterm elections.
Trump’s adviser Stephen Miller, the administration’s immigration hawk, told reporters shortly before the 2020 election that Biden’s immigration policies would result in “open borders” and America’s end would be a “sovereign nation”.
Prior to the recent caravan, there were already tens of thousands of expatriates, whom the Trump administration had barred at the US border and asked to wait in Mexico until their court gave a date to present their asylum cases. Many have conceded defeat and returned to the South, but thousands in northern Mexico are in poor condition waiting to enter the US
Senior Biden transition officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that those who are waiting at the border, along with other vulnerable populations, will have priority for processing and entry, rather than those who have recently arrived .
The official said that migrants trying to cross into the US to claim asylum in the first few weeks of the new administration “need to understand that they are not able to arrive in the United States immediately.”
The official also emphasized that any immigration law proposed by the Biden administration would be for unspecified immigrants already residing in the US, and not for those now considering coming.
The Biden administration wants to eliminate the need for a Trump administration practice to wait in Mexico, known as the Migrant Security Protocol (MPP), but it will not allow all migrants to enter the U.S. at once, such as He only takes leaden. Office, the official said.
“It helps along the way, but now is not the time to travel,” the official said.
The incoming administration has also promised to roll back sanctions imposed by Trump for asylum that have drastically reduced the number of people eligible for protection.
Over time, the official said, the Biden administration planned to establish a way to safely process migrants at the border and allow asylum seekers to make their claims.
The transition official declined to explain what migrants traveling in Honduran caravans would face when they arrived at the US border under a Biden administration, as they were more on US migrant processing capabilities after Biden’s swearing in on Wednesday Hope to get information.
But the official said that people in the caravan “will not get when they meet on the US border that from Tuesday to Wednesday, things have changed overnight and the ports are all open and they can arrive in the United States.”
At the same time, the rates of Kovid-19 are increasing in the US and worldwide. The epidemic, the official said, would take the Baden administration time to resume the processing of migrants and asylum seekers on the southern border, now a particularly difficult time to travel.
“We have to give a message that health and hope is on the way, but coming now has no meaning for our own safety … while we are engaged in such procedures that they can reach in the future,” the official said. .