The White House is trying to create a legal way for Central Americans to immigrate to the United States: Envoy

Joe Biden said the White House is looking for ways to legally enter the United States for asylum seekers from Central America who may attempt dangerous trekking north and illegally cross the border. The president’s special envoy, Ricardo Zniga, said. on Tuesday.

Biden’s envoy to the so-called Northern Triangle countries of Central America (Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador), Zuniga, on an official visit to Guatemala, the White House provides protection to migrants in the promotion of Biden’s reform. Because the US border policy, which he said he was trying to do, and the administration struggling to cope with the surge in illegal border crossings.

The surge in illegal immigrants from the Northern Triangle has become one of the biggest political challenges for the Biden administration, with Republicans crossing illegal borders on the rollback of immigration policy during the Trump era and the message many will do. Immigrants and traffickers blaming the wave of politics interpret it as an invitation to come to the United States.

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On March 23, 2021, US Border Guard agents detain illegal immigrants, as seen from a Texas Public Safety Agency helicopter near the US-Mexico border in McAllen, Texas. (John Moore / Getty Images)

In a recent Reuters interview, about 20 immigrants and more than 12 people who identify themselves as smugglers, many of whom could be illegal immigrants, enter and stay in the United States. I found that I believed in welcome.

“There is 100 days of free transit across the border,” a Guatemalan smuggler told Reuters. “Maybe the president has children,” another told the outlet.

Biden disagreed with the idea that the border was open, saying his administration continued to expel most adults and families swiftly under public health orders imposed at the outbreak of COVID-19. .. However, the administration allows teens and children to stay in the country, at least temporarily.

The Biden administration has sought to portray the surge in illegal immigrants as a seasonal phenomenon, but at the same time authorities are more aggressive in admitting that there was no message and discouraging becoming illegal immigrants. Communication was developed. Go through.

“Don’t come,” Biden said in an interview with ABC News on March 16 when asked to clarify his message to anyone trying to cross the border. “Don’t leave your town, city or community.”

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President Joe Biden will speak at a Cabinet meeting held in the East Room of the White House in Washington on April 1, 2021. (Evan Vucci / AP photo)

A message that Zuniga emphasized at a press conference in Guatemala, “I want to emphasize that the border with the United States is closed.”

The day after meeting with Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammati, Zuniga met with most of Guatemalan’s senior ministers to discuss ways to improve security and economic and social conditions to promote Guatemalan migration.

“We are also here to discuss the need and efforts of the White House to create legal means for migration so that people do not have to use irregular and dangerous routes. “Zuniga said.

“We also want to make sure there are ways and means to access protection for those in need,” he added.

The idea of ​​establishing a stronger presence of US immigrants in Central American countries to process asylum claims was recently highlighted by Senator Joe Manchin (DW.Va.), Who took a border helicopter and boat tour last week. It was.

Manchin strengthens border security, establishes a 90-day moratorium on immigration, and provides the process for people of the Northern Triangle to apply to come to to quell the flow of illegal immigrants across the southern border. Proposed to set up a framework to legally US.

“They should be able to go through the asylum process, the review process, and do everything they need to do before they come here,” Manchin said. “It would be safer. It would be much more humane. For each of them, and at the expense of them, would be much more cost effective.”

Manchin also called for immigration reform and said he and Congressman Henry Cuellar (Democratic Party) would discuss with members of the Biden administration when they returned to Washington.

The poorest countries in the Northern Hemisphere have long fought against chronic gang violence and an extensive criminal network such as the infamous Malasal Battlecha (MS-13).

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2013 file image of an MS-13 member in a prison in El Salvador. (Marvin Resinos / AFP / Getty Images)

The Biden administration said one of the plans to stop the flow of illegal immigrants is to address the root cause by providing assistance to the countries where people are trying to flee.

“Job creation, health care and education were the topics we discussed with the president yesterday,” Zuniga said at a news conference. “We continued to talk about the need to create conditions for Guatemalans to live here in Guatemala with dignity and hope.”

As part of this effort, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Announced on April 6 Have a disaster relief response team in place to meet the urgent humanitarian needs in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.

“Through USAID, the United States has provided approximately $ 112 million in humanitarian assistance, including emergency food aid, nutritional services, safe drinking water, shelters, programs to help people earn money, and disaster risk mitigation programs. Of this, $ 57 million is for the people of Guatemala, $ 47 million is for the people of Honduras, and $ 8 million is for the people of El Salvador, “the agency said.

Zuniga visited El Salvador later this week to discuss “comprehensive” migration with Foreign Minister Lisandro Rosales of Honduras last Friday, according to a statement from the ministry on Monday.

US officials captured more than 171,000 illegal immigrants along the US-Mexico border in March. This is the highest monthly total in 20 years and is the latest sign of the heightened humanitarian challenges facing the Biden administration.

At the same time, Customs and Border Protection officials said Monday that far more than 100,000 illegal border-passers had avoided patrol agent capture so far this year, already warning of growing monthly anxiety. ing.

Reuters contributed to this report.