As about 2,000 Central American and Haitian migrants are headed toward the U.S.-Mexico border Mexico’s president praised Biden for having “a clear and certain commitment to improve the situation” of migrants.
According to The Associated Press, “About 2,000 mostly Central American and Haitian migrants made up the latest attempted caravan. They walked out of Tapachula in a boisterous show carrying their belonging in small knapsacks or in bundles atop their heads.”
A large number of children are also part of the northbound caravan, as several migrants told reporters that the asylum process is taking too long. One migrant said he left his country because of its economy, high crime, and food shortages.
“My country is in the worst economic, crime, hunger situation,” he said. “There are no studies, no education for the kids. That’s why my wife and I decided to try to achieve our objective.”
Not all say that they are headed toward the U.S. At least one migrant told a reporter he was going to look for work in Mexico City, according to Reuters.
Biden met with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador in a meeting in which Obrador praised Biden and advocated for loosening up immigration policy.
“President Biden, no president in the history of the United States has expressed as you have such a clear and certain commitment to improve the situation of the migrants and thus I wish to express my acknowledgment,” he said.
Mexico’s president also referenced Biden’s plan to grant citizenship to roughly 11 million illegal aliens.
He said, “And I particularly refer to your proposal to regulate the migratory status of 11 million people who live and work honestly in this great nation. I hope that you have the support of Congress and the members of both Democrat and Republican parties.”
According to the New York Post, one administration official said, prior to the meetings with Obrador and Trudeau, that borders would not be “a real focus” at the talks. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said that keeping down the influx of people at the border would be brought up at the meeting.
“Migration, addressing the root causes, ensuring we’re doing it in a humane way, but reducing the number of people who are coming to the border will be part of the discussion,” Psaki said.
On Friday, the House passed Biden’s nearly two trillion dollar social spending plan, which included provisions regarding illegal immigrants who entered the U.S. before January 2, 2011 and have not left since.
Providing they pay an administrative leave and pass background checks, they can be given five-year parole status, which could be renewed. With parole status, recipients can get “authorization to travel and work in the U.S. and deems them eligible for a Real ID-compliant driver’s license or a state identification card.”
The bill will now head to the senate, where it will most likely need all 50 Democrat senators to back it. House Progressive Caucus head Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) expects the bill to pass “quickly” in the senate.
“I hope the Senate passes this very quickly. But then the big work is to get out there and get it done, actually implement it and talk about it and let people know what’s coming,” she said.