By Shirley Rodriguez, Latin America Digest, February 1, 2023.
New immigration policies have been announced by representatives of the US Department of Homeland Security and are intended to regulate immigration transit to that North American country.
On January 27, the US Department of Homeland Security announced strengthening legal measures to control the entry of immigrants into that country. With these measures, the Border Patrol seeks to stop migration on the southern border with Mexico.
According to Blas Nunez Neto, the acting undersecretary for border and immigration policy in that department, the measures were designed under Title 42, a public health order that prioritizes the immediate return of people who arrive irregularly.
With this health rule in place, people attempting to enter the United States by land are immediately returned to the country from which they entered, which in this case would be Mexico, or to a third country, which is Guatemala. And if this is not possible, to other countries of origin.
The US official also confirmed that they are looking for alternatives to this last measure to improve the transit of people in an undocumented state, and they are also focused on strengthening measures against those who insist on entering that northern country.
One such penalty is the increased use of expedited repatriation and people can be expelled when identified by the immigration authorities. The authorities have also made it clear that while a person detained in this way will be denied entry to the United States for the next five years.
Regarding the human mobility crisis, Núñez Neto called on them not to immigrate irregularly to the United States or endanger the lives of other people trying to enter in this way.
According to the authorities of that country, in 2022 the arrests of more than 7,000 people involved in coyotaje were recorded, although they did not specify whether the figure corresponds to the national territory or covers other regions.
“We are attacking coyotes that expose migrants to terrible risks and are only interested in financial gain. In an attempt, more than 7,000 coyotes and other criminal elements working in this field have been arrested,” he emphasized.
The authorities also reported that the number of people they could accept as refugees from Latin America and the Caribbean had tripled. With this, they seek to give another option to those who leave their country due to various conflicts, such as security.
At the end of the conference, the Undersecretary said that the US Congress is scheduled to present proposals and ways to expand regular immigration routes and affirmed that they are committed to searching for these alternatives.
According to information from Oxfam, it is clear that in Central America migration occurs for reasons linked to the climate crisis and also due to insecurity. In 2021 alone, 1,920 people from Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras were arrested at the US-Mexico border each day.
Line: community journalism
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