The number of detained unaccompanied migrant children is breaking records in 2021. This is just one of many challenges that the southern border is facing. Under the Biden Administration, the president has promised to bring about change but humanitarians and activists are calling this an immigration crisis considering how there has been a surge of people crossing the border into the United States. With this recent dramatic shift, people are trying to highlight new challenges, especially those induced by the COVID-19 pandemic. Let’s take a look at the main concerns of immigration activists.
What the U.S.-Mexican Border is Looking Like
There has been a notable increase in children—mostly teenagers—crossing the Border. Approximately 70% of people crossing are teenagers and hundreds of them are children under the age of twelve. Under the Biden administration, there have been more openings of temporary facilities, which have received backlash for holding children in conditions that are not fit for their wellbeing.
Where Most of the Immigrants are Coming From
The majority of the people that cross the U.S.-Mexican border come from Mexico, but now we’re seeing more and more people coming from Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador, which are some of the countries experiencing the most economic turmoil. Because of the pandemic and changes in climate, people from Honduras and Guatemala are attempting to escape these conditions.
Are More People Immigrating into the United States?
In March of 2021, the United States was seeing some of the highest numbers it ever has in terms of unaccompanied children and families crossing the border. Still, single adults account for most of the people that attempt to or do cross the border.
What’s Pushing People to Cross the Border?
Many of those who are coming into the United States have found it easier to do so in 2021 because of the new administration. With that, people don’t have to worry about the pent-up demand that the Trump administration brought to immigration and border relations. Immigrants are confident that Biden will take a more humane approach to their situations, but that is something that everyone is still trying to figure out as his presidency plays out.
Are Biden’s Policies Worsening Immigration Reform?
The Biden Administration has received criticism from both the Left and Right. Although the Biden Administration has promised to reunite families and has also said that Customs and Border Patrol facilities are no place for a child to stay. Nonetheless, Title 42 is still in full effect and the Biden Administration, much like the Trump Administration is pursuing a regional strategy to mitigate migration.
The COVID-19 Pandemic Has Worsened Risks for Immigrants
Immigrants and other populations within the United States have been hit the worst by the COVID-19 pandemic. Even in their home countries, immigrants have been dealing with more severe cases of COVID-19 and the accompanying disruptions in school, work, and the economy. Overall, migrant workers are also at risk of contracting the virus more than anyone else because they are constantly working, even though the pandemic, without little to no safety protocols.
Defining “Essential Workers”
Because the United States was placing an emphasis on essential workers and what constituted an essential worker throughout the pandemic, many people lost their jobs, especially those who immigrated to the United States. This mainly impacts those who were categorized as “low-skilled” workers which impacted both immigrants and United States citizens.
Refugee Crisis Receives Less Attention
International affairs and travel was put on a halt for months (for the majority of 2020) to prevent the spread of COVID-19. With that, it became harder for people to seek asylum in the United States and many of these applications were put on hold. Some were immediately denied asylum in the United States, leaving refugees with no choice to stay in their native country and wait out the effects of the pandemic.
Extreme Weather and Natural Disasters Interfere with Human Mobility
Extreme weather and natural disasters were seen most in Honduras. This pushed many of these people to come into a country where natural disasters weren’t as frequent, thus crossing into the United States. Many disasters left people feeling like they had to leave their homes before they were destroyed.
Learn More About How Immigration Reform is Changing, Only with Victoria Winterberg
Whatever your citizenship or immigration status may be, Attorney Victoria Winterberg wants to help. Our law office is dedicated to helping immigrants fight cases of deportation and ultimately helping them gain citizenship. Contact us today to learn more about how our legal services can help.