Border Detentions Spike To 21
While the number of migrants at the border had been steadily increasing since April 2020, the numbers spiked sharply after Mr Biden took office.
Migrants continue to cross the border in one of two ways. Those who “have suffered persecution or fear that they will suffer persecution” in their home country are eligible for asylum when they present themselves at a port of entry for admission into the US.
Others may evade immigration inspectors and border patrol by hiding in vehicles or travelling undetected across unprotected and often treacherous sections of the US-Mexico border.
According to the Pew Research Center, at least 40% of unauthorised migrants in the country entered legally on short-term visas and overstayed.
While Mr Biden has avoided the harsh rhetoric of Donald Trump, his predecessor, he has still repeatedly called on migrants to not attempt the journey to the US.
In August, over 208,800 people were detained crossing the border. The figure marked a reduction from July, when 212,672 people were taken into custody – a 21-year high.
Despite the August slight decline, the number of migrant encounters still represents about a 45% increase from the 144,000 recorded in May 2019 – the highest total during the Trump administration.
There’s also been a sharp increase in the number of children crossing the border. Of August’s total, 18,847 were teens and children not travelling with a legal guardian, about in line with figures from the previous month.
What Are President Biden’s Challenges At The Border
Since taking office in January, US President Joe Biden has been beset by a string of crises at the southern US border.
From criticism over deportations and the treatment of Haitian immigrants to an influx of unaccompanied children and concerns about Covid, there’s been no end to the challenges the administration faces along the border with Mexico.
Despite those challenges, Mr Biden has vowed to make good on sweeping promises to reform US immigration, vowing to “take urgent action” to undo the policies of Donald Trump.
Here’s what we know.
Claim: The Us Is Testing More Than Other Countries This Needs Context
During a news conference March 30, Trump said, “We have done more tests, by far, than any country in the world, by far,” in response to a question about the United States lagging behind in testing residents “per capita.”
It is technically true that the U.S. has run more tests for the disease caused by the virus than any other country, but this claim, one the president makes frequently, requires more context. The U.S. is not testing the same share of its population as other countries, a key measure.
On March 31, the White House said there had been more than 1.1 million tests that’s 1 in 297 people who are getting tested. South Korea, for instance, has done 410,564 tests as of the same day. But South Korea has a population of 51 million people, which means theyre testing a much larger share of the population 1 in every 124 people.
Trump argued Monday that the U.S. is a large country and there are areas that wouldn’t need ramped-up testing. But even in the hardest-hit areas like New York City many cannot get tested.
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Trump Threatens To Close Border Next Week: ‘we’re Not Playing Games’
Trump said the situation is urgent because “we have right now two big caravans coming from Guatemala, massive caravans, walking right through Mexico.” If they dont stop’ em, were closing the border,” he added.
He continued the tough talk later at his Mar-a-Lago resort. “Mexico is going to have to do something. Otherwise, I’m closing the border. I’ll just close the border,” Trump said. “And with a deficit like we’ve have with Mexico and have had for many years, closing the borders will be a profit-making operation. When you close the border, also you will stop a lot of the drugs from coming in.”
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a non-profit business lobbying group, estimates the U.S. and Mexico trade about $1.7 billion in goods daily. The organization told the Associated Press that closing the border would be an “unmitigated economic debacle.”
Trump’s comments came after a morning where he took to Twitter to blame Democrats on for weak U.S. immigration laws, and then said he’d be closing the border, “or large sections of the Border, next week” unless Mexico took immediate action.
“This would be so easy for Mexico to do, but they just take our money and ‘talk,'” he wrote in a series of three tweets.
The Twitter blast came hours after he issued a similar warning during a rally in Michigan on Thursday night. He repeated his unfounded claims that migrant caravans are “pouring across” the U.S.-Mexico border, and implored the Mexican government to do more to stop them.
Such Restrictions Did Little To Contain Covid
During the first presidential debate, President Trump hailed his efforts to restrict travelers from China as evidence of his administrations effective response to the covid-19 pandemic, saying the early decision saved thousands of lives. He went on to claim that his opponent, Democratic nominee Joe Biden, would have opted to close the country late, resulting in 2 million deaths a tenfold increase in lost American lives.
The president is incorrect. The United States did not implement its travel restriction early. Nor did it close the country to arrivals from China. In addition, there is little evidence that travel restrictions alone saved millions of lives in this country or any other. On the contrary: Unless the United States and other nations act, the widespread use of travel bans in this pandemic have made Americans and citizens of other countries more vulnerable to future pandemic threats.
Restricting flights from China did nothing to prevent the virus from arriving from other parts of the world. Genetic analyses have shown that the large epidemic that unfolded in New York was linked to travelers from Europe. In the early days of the U.S. epidemic, testing was restricted to people with a travel history to China, which limited the ability to detect locally the cases and infections among travelers from other countries.
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People Who Cross The Border Regularly Would Be Stuck
Everyday, thousands of people cross the border between the United States and Mexico simply as part of their commute. There are Mexican students who go to American schools, for example, U.S. citizens who live in Mexico but work in the States, or simply people who live in one country and often visit family in the other. If Trump closes the border, he would immediately be throwing these peoples’ lives into turmoil.
What Prompted The Ban
Mr Trudeau’s government had previously resisted closing the border to his country’s most important trading partner.
“Nearly 200,000 people cross that border every day, and that border and that traffic that goes across that border is literally a lifeline for both the Canadians and the Americans on both sides of that border,” Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland said on Tuesday.
“We get our groceries thanks to truckers who drive back and forth across that border. Very urgently needed medical supplies and medicines go back and forth across that border.”
But both leaders had kept the notion of travel restrictions on the table, as both countries have struggled to halt outbreaks of Covid-19.
Earlier this week, Mr Trump warned against discretionary travel and said that “we have very strong emergency powers when it comes to something like this, both on the southern and the northern borders”.
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Trump On Closing Border: Security Is More Important Than Trade
The disagreement between the top two Republicans in Washington illustrates again the ongoing tension between the president and his own party in Congress as lawmakers try to bat down Trump proposals they believe are ill-advised politically, on policy grounds or both.
McConnell also said Tuesday that he and Trump now see eye to eye on waiting until after the 2020 election to work on health care legislation following Trump’s promise to move earlier. McConnell had balked at that idea. And last week, Trump quickly retreated on two of his own budget proposals cuts for the Special Olympics and Great Lakes restoration after hearing criticism from GOP members of Congress.
But it remains to be seen whether he will back off on the border, a signature issue for him that he views as critically important both as a policy matter and in terms of fulfilling a key promise from his 2016 campaign. Increasingly, Trump has shown a willingness to go it alone when Congress rejects his immigration and border-control plans.
On Monday, Homeland Security Secretary Kristjen Nielsen directed Customs and Border Protection to send up to 750 additional officers to the border to assist with a policy designed to keep asylum-seekers in Mexico while they await adjudication of their cases. NBC News first reported on that decision last week. The number could be increased to 2,000, according to the department.
Trump Closes Us Borders Immigration Grinds To A Halt
President Trump plans to seal off the U.S-Mexico border to migrants under a law intended to protect the country from communicable disease. The border with Canada is closed to non-essential travel.
DAVID GREENE, HOST:
Borders across the world are closing because of the coronavirus pandemic. The European Union this week all but walled off the continent from the rest of the world. Now the Trump administration is taking extreme measures, sharply limiting travelers from Canada. The U.S. government has also slowed the processing of immigrants who are already here. NPR’s John Burnett covers immigration. He is with us from Austin, Texas. Good morning, John.
JOHN BURNETT, BYLINE: Good morning, David.
GREENE: Can we start with the northern border between the United States and Canada? What is the latest there?
BURNETT: Well, President Trump said yesterday that, by mutual consent, the U.S. and Canada will halt all nonessential traffic across the world’s longest international border. Both governments are now saying citizens should return home as soon as possible. So it looks like cross-border visits to family and friends or zipping over to see Niagara Falls from the Canadian side are over for the time being. Here’s the president at a midday press conference yesterday.
GREENE: Well, I mean, we’ve been hearing for months about asylum-seekers who are stuck in Mexico waiting for their asylum cases to be resolved. How will this affect them and their lives here?
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Trump Threatens To Close Border With Mexico
- Mexico must immediately stop ALL illegal immigration
- Foreign minister: Mexico does not act on the basis of threats
Donald Trump threatened to close the United States border with Mexico next week, repeating a threat he has made numerous times before and angering Mexican leaders and business groups.
The president said on Twitter: If Mexico doesnt immediately stop ALL illegal immigration coming into the United States through our Southern Border, I will be CLOSING the Border, or large sections of the Border, next week.
He added: This would be so easy for Mexico to do, but they just take our money and talk. Besides, we lose so much money with them, especially when you add in drug trafficking etc.), that the Border closing would be a good thing!
Trump has long been adamant about the need for border security. He campaigned on the promise of construction of a wall on the USs southern border to be paid for by Mexico and forced a government shutdown after Congress did not appropriate funds for it. Trump eventually yielded after the longest shutdown in American history and then declared a national emergency to unilaterally shift money to wall construction.
However, Trumps declaration came just a day after President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said his country was doing its part to fight migrant smuggling. We are going to do everything we can to help, López Obrador said. We dont in any way want a confrontation with the US government.