Biden’s border “crisis” has nothing to do with the border


“To Americans, the most obvious sign is an influx of migrants by breaking children,” my colleagues wrote. “The Biden administration continues its policy of expelling most unauthorized adult migrants from the Trump era. But officials have decided accept unaccompanied children. ”

Reality, on the other hand, is more continuity than change. The same inappropriate facilities that housed thousands of minors seeking asylum under Trump packed once more under Biden. Thousands of migrants are rejected at the border or expelled every day. Local officials, aid workers and immigrant advocates have long-standing complaints about backlogs of asylum applications, and border authorities are ill-equipped to care for frightened, desperate children.

“The emergencies of the past decade are indeed three chapters of the same struggle: an exodus from Central America is underway, while families and children have tried to escape violence, poverty and government corruption,” wrote Jonathan Blitzer of New York. “The immigration system at the border, which was built in the 1990s, keeping in mind single adults from Mexico looking for work, was it is not designed to handle the asylum-seeking population on this scale. On average, it takes almost two and a half years to resolve an asylum application, and now 1.3 million unresolved cases are unresolved, compared to half a million under Obama. “

Moreover, according to analysts, the new influx started almost a year ago in April. “But it was recently shot because of a combination of factors,” my colleagues reported. “Economic crises caused by the pandemic, two hurricanes that ravaged Central America, the end of strict coronavirus blockades and the perception that the Biden administration will be more tolerant of migration. ”

The key countries in question are the three countries of the so-called Northern Triangle of Central America: Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador. For years, countries have been obsessed with devastating governance, natural disasters and an epidemic of gang and cartel violence.

“If the alternative was famine, gang violence, kidnapping, rape or sexual slavery, wouldn’t you all bet on a trip north?”

More than its ultranationalist predecessor, the Biden administration recognizes that solutions to what it describes as a “challenge” on the border lie much further south. Shortly after taking office, Biden announced a $ 4 billion plan to invest in the northern triangle states – Roughly doubling U.S. aid to those countries with a series of programs aimed at improving the quality of life, restructuring the security forces, and combating gang violence and official corruption. The White House eavesdropped on Vice President Harris earlier this month as a major figure in his efforts to address the “root causes” of Central American migration to the north.

Then there are the long and unresolved results of the United States so far in its attempts to help develop and reform these countries. “Why, after so many decades of systematic US support focused on the structural challenges of Central America, has the situation in the region not improved significantly for millions of its peoples?” Luis Guillermo Solís asked, a former Costa Rican president, in an essay outlining the challenges of American policy-making in the Northern Triangle. “What factors have hindered and continue to hinder the aspirations of Central Americans who suffer the hardships of life dominated by fear, foreclosure, illness, corruption, and hunger?”

Solís pointed to the history of American agencies that spent wrongly in the region, but more importantly, on a number of ingrained local factors: the legacy of an “undemocratic, unjust, repressive and opaque political system, dominated by clientelism, authoritarian practices, state-sponsored violence and disrespect for the rule of law” now brought by states with fragile institutions and endemic corruption.

Of course The United States has played a major role in the past – and often negative – the role in signing these clientelistic regimes. Now, however, the Biden administration may be focusing more on raising a nascent civil society in the region. “There is so much corruption. It is really endemic and spread through many government structures, “said the American official Olivier Knox of Daily 202. “We will make sure that there are appropriate safeguards in place to know that our assistance has a real impact.”

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