Migrant Caravan Advocates Urge Biden to Honor His ‘Commitments’ to Loosen Immigration Restrictions

To borrow from the “Game of Thrones” warning that something ominous approaches, the caravan is coming.

The Reuters news service reported on Saturday that as many as 8,000 migrants from Honduras had entered Guatemala and were bound for America’s southern border.

Reuters noted that the massive group is “fleeing poverty and violence in a region battered by the pandemic and back-to-back hurricanes in November.”

Yet advocates for the caravan marchers say they were motivated by the rhetoric of President-elect Joe Biden. They called on Biden to stick by his “commitments” to foreigners seeking to enter the United States after he takes office on Wednesday.

“We recognize the importance of the incoming Government of the United States having shown a strong commitment to migrants and asylum seekers, which presents an opportunity for the governments of Mexico and Central America to develop policies and a migration management that respect and promote the human rights of the population in mobility,” the migrant activist group Pueblo Sin Fronteras said in a statement, according to Fox News.

“We will advocate that the Biden government honors its commitments.”

On the campaign trail, Biden pledged to soften the Trump administration’s stance on illegal immigration significantly.

Biden has promised a first-day executive order to allow about 700,000 illegal immigrants who were brought to America as children to remain in the country, presumably permanently.

Moreover, Biden has pledged to find “a path to citizenship” for an estimated 11 million illegal immigrants now living in the U.S. – and to slow ICE’s aggressive deportation efforts. Hardliners on immigration say that the number of people affected by Biden’s amnesty program could be double that number.    

A third inaugural-day priority for Biden was to overturn the Trump administration’s Migrant Protection Protocols.

The protocols, announced in January 2019, were an agreement with Mexico to keep asylum-seekers lacking appropriate paperwork in Mexico while their petitions were being adjudicated in the U.S. The problem was that many of those granted temporary refuge simply failed to show for further proceedings and melted into the nation’s interior.

The administration was ripped as “racist” for its initiative. Biden accused the officials of forcing migrants to live in “squalor” in Mexico. Yet officials countered the program was necessary to halt illegal immigration, as well as attrit efforts by sex- and human-traffickers and drug smugglers who were increasingly hiding among “families.”

Despite his early and repeated promises to liberalize border security measures, Biden has more recently tamped down expectations for a day-one overturn of the asylum program.

“It will get done, and it will get done quickly,” Biden said at a recent press conference.

”It’s not going to be able to be done on day one — lift every restriction that exists and go back to what it was 20 years ago and all of a sudden find out we have a crisis on our hands that complicates what we were trying to do.”

The caravan’s further progress toward the American Southwest depends on how resolutely Guatemala and Mexico will enforce the protocols. For now, both governments have said they will abide by the agreement and work to halt the caravan, news reports say.

But the fact that the caravan members are on the move demonstrated that they, at least, believe Biden would, as Trump said during the campaign, “erase” the border.

On Saturday, acting Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Mark Morgan told Fox News that the Biden administration’s strategies “were akin to open borders.”

“We’re looking at two groups that are well over five thousand (people). And one of those groups has already gotten through the Guatemala border. And they’re on their way to El Rancho, which is located centrally in Guatemala.”

“It’s coming. It’s already started, just as we promised and anticipated it would with this rhetoric from the new administration on the border.”

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