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White House lays out new strategy to ‘change the ways’ people migrate from Central America

  • July 29, 2021

During her trip, she announced an Anticorruption Task Force and an anti-trafficking and anti-smuggling initiative.

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In June, the number of migrants encountered at the U.S.-Mexico border by Customs and Border Protection reached a yearly high of 188,829.

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Many of the migrants coming to the United States from Central America, and other countries, are fleeing gang violence, economic troubles exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic and climate change, as well as political turmoil.

Temporary protections in Mexico, Costa Rica being considered

A senior administration official said the White House is looking to set up temporary protections in neighboring countries like Mexico or Costa Rica for people who urgently need to leave their countries.

The Biden administration has repeatedly told migrants not to come to the United States, saying the border is closed.

The majority of migrants, with the exception of children and some families, coming to the U.S.-Mexico border are being turned away under Title 42, a policy that allows Customs and Border Protection to expel undocumented migrants to prevent the spread of the virus in holding facilities.

New strategy follows 21-point immigration plan

Earlier this week, the Biden administration released a 21-point immigration plan, which included renewing an expedited removal process for some immigrants and allowing asylum officers to adjudicate asylum claims for those arriving at the border.

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In a statement released Monday, the Department of Homeland Security said that certain family units who are unable to be expelled under Title 42 will now be placed in expedited removal proceedings. The department noted that crossing between a port of entry or avoiding inspection at ports of entry “is the wrong way to come to the United States.”

“These acts are dangerous and can carry long-term immigration consequences for individuals who attempt to do so,” DHS said in the announcement.

Expedited removal proceedings were created during the Clinton administration and have been used by both Republican and Democratic administrations. The expedited process allows immigration authorities to remove individuals and families without a hearing before an immigration judge.

Immigration advocates criticize expedited removal process

The announcement of the Biden administration renewing the process was met with backlash from immigration activists.

Jess Morales Rocketto, co-founder of Families Belong Together, said in a statement Tuesday that the White House’s announcement “continues to hold up the xenophobia of President Trump and Stephen Miller.”

“This policy is a fast track to deport children and families to the very danger they were fleeing and puts lives at risk,” Morales Rocketto said in the statement. “The Biden administration promised to restore the U.S. commitment to a fair, humane, and functional immigration system, but they are leveraging the complicated and broken immigration system with one goal: expelling those in need to score political points.”

Reach Rebecca Morin at Twitter @RebeccaMorin_

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