Biden tells Central American migrants: ‘Don’t come over’

Customs and Border Protection
A US Customs and Border Protection agent stands guard on the US side of the US-Mexico border fence.

  • President Biden told people from Central America to stay in their “town or city or community.”
  • He said this in a televised interview after a marked increase in migrants at the US-Mexico border.
  • The Biden administration is also bracing for a surge in unaccompanied migrant children at the border.
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President Biden has told people from Central America not to come to the US after reports of a massive surge in migrants at the US-Mexico border.

“Yes, I can say quite clearly: Don’t come over… in the process of getting set up, don’t leave your town or city or community,” said Biden in a televised interview with George Stephanopoulos on ABC News Tuesday night.

Biden said that there had been a “surge” in migrants in 2019 and 2020 as well, but acknowledged that this sudden increase in people heading to the border “could be worse.”

“I heard the idea that they’re coming because I’m a nice guy,” he said.

Biden campaigned on an immigration policy overhaul, with key changes that would make the US more welcoming and that he would treat migrants fairly and humanely.

But the president’s new comments come as his administration stares down the barrel of what could become a humanitarian crisis at the country’s southern border.

According to an article by NBC News, homeland security secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has acknowledged that US border patrol could be encountering more immigrants at the southern border.

This is because the US is on-pace to encounter more people at the U.S.-Mexico border “than we have in the last 20 years,” Mayjorkas said.

According to Axios, border patrol is struggling as it attempts to process and care for scores of families and children from Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador while coping as well with pandemic restrictions.

Many of these immigrants have undertaken a dangerous journey to the US-Mexico border in a bid to escape crises back home – including gang violence, severe poverty, and natural disasters.

The Biden administration is also bracing for a surge in unaccompanied migrant children crossing the border after the president overturned a Trump Covid-era policy of turning them away.

An AP report in February said that an overflow shelter would be re-opened in Carrizo Springs, Texas. An Axios report indicated a downtown Dallas convention center would be used to house around 3,000 migrant teens.

A Yahoo News article also noted that Biden had been briefed that 20,000 additional beds would be needed to shelter children who may arrive at the border this year.

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