President Joe Biden has secured agreements with Mexico and two Central American countries to tighten their borders and stem the flow of immigrants, according to Special Assistant to the President for Immigration for the Domestic Policy Council Tyler Moran.
Speaking to MSNBC on Monday, Moran said that the Biden administration has “secured agreements for them to put more troops on their own border. Mexico, Honduras, and Guatemala have all agreed to do this. That not only is going to prevent the traffickers, and the smugglers, and cartels that take advantage of the kids on their way here, but also to protect those children.”
The administration has struggled to keep up with the surge of illegal immigrants at the American southern border, largely prompted by then-President-elect Biden’s remarks about wanting to offer full amnesty to those who enter the United States illegally. The rising tide of immigrants from Central America has also been spurred on by Biden’s elimination of former President Trump’s policies and agreements with Central American countries to keep illegal immigrants at bay at their own borders.
In his interview with MSNBC, Moran outlined a two-pronged approach to address the border crisis, including processing unaccompanied minors in the United States and addressing the reasons why people migrate to the U.S. in the first place.
"We're addressing the reasons that people are coming from the region. This is really important. If you just focus on our border, you're not addressing why people are actually coming to our border. The president has a blueprint and he's working with the vice president on this," Moran said, citing in part investments in the region.
In March, U.S. Customs and Border Protection apprehended more than 172,000 people attempting to illegally cross the border. The figure is a 71 per cent increase from February, which was the previous all-time high in the history of the agency.
Although the majority of the encounters were single adults, the CBP apprehended a record number of unaccompanied minors. In total, 18,890 minors were apprehended in March, nearly double that of February.
Vice President Kamala Harris, who is tasked with overseeing negotiation efforts with Central American countries, has spoken to President Alejandro Giammattei of Guatemala and discussed increasing humanitarian assistance to Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. Furthermore, the White House is looking for opportunities to create jobs and improve conditions for Central Americans.
Biden administration officials have repeatedly stressed addressing root causes of illegal immigration and improving conditions in impoverished nations.