In a mounting crisis at the US-Mexico border, border patrol and multiple states grapple with the influx of over 10,000 migrants daily, putting President Biden under intense scrutiny from Republican critics.
The surge, evident in a staggering 2.4 million land interceptions from October 2022 to September 2023, has prompted the closure of railroads in Eagle Pass and El Paso due to a resurgence of undocumented migrants using freight trains for entry.
The situation escalated further as Texas, led by Governor Greg Abbott, accused President Biden of “deliberate inaction” and passed a controversial law criminalizing illegal entry.
Abbott’s law, set to take effect in March, allows state law enforcement to arrest and deport migrants, a power typically reserved for federal authorities.
The move drew immediate legal challenges from human rights organizations, including the ACLU, questioning its constitutionality.
Even within Democratic-led border states, such as Arizona, Governor Katie Hobbs criticized the federal government’s handling of the crisis, reinforcing concerns over border security.
Hobbs announced the deployment of Arizona National Guard troops to address the escalating situation.
The reasons behind the surge remain unclear, with Customs and Border Protection attributing it to “smugglers peddling disinformation.”
Rumors of an impending border closure have circulated, potentially influencing recent crossings, as reported by migrants in Texas.
To address the crisis, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas are set to meet with Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador in the coming days.
The White House acknowledges the broken immigration system, with President Biden expressing a willingness to compromise with congressional Republicans on a border plan.
As President Biden navigates this complex issue, he faces criticism from both sides: accusations of being too soft on immigration from the right and pressure from progressive supporters to distance himself from his predecessor’s policies.
With no apparent slowdown in migrant
arrivals, the administration is compelled to tackle the immigration challenge head-on, while the global context is further complicated by a significant increase in migration through the perilous Darien Gap, with half a million people crossing into Panama since the start of 2023, double the number from the previous year.