The largest migrant caravan in a year estimated to include some 7,000 people is heading toward the US – and its leader claims President Biden has “dropped the ball” on immigration and allowed Latin American countries to “gang up” on his administration.This latest caravan comprising migrants from Cuba, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras and Venezuela, left southern Mexico Monday, bound for the US border.Officials in the Mexican state of Chiapas said some 3,500 people set off on foot from the city of Tapachula near the Guatemalan border – but one of the caravan’s organizers, Irineo Mujica, claimed there were around 5,000 in the initial group, and that number had since swelled to more than 7,000.Mujica, a US citizen and self-described “human rights defender” who has been accompanying the migrants, told the cable network Real America’s Voice he believed the leaders of Latin American countries were conspiring to create the current immigration crisis to extract money from Washington — and that Biden was allowing it to happen.“I believe the Biden administration has dropped the ball,” he said. “A lot of the countries are fueling this immigration by… transporting people in.”Mujica further claimed immigration was being “weaponized” against the US and the Biden administration – and that Mexico was “ganging up” with other countries in the region “to make sure all this immigration goes straight into the United States.”The caravan organizer argued “irresponsible” Latin American countries have been charging migrants money in exchange for rides to the US border, where he said they were temporarily held before being released, instead of being deported.“Joe Biden’s administration had lost the ball, does not know what to do with immigration,” Mujica added, calling the situation “not normal.”Mujica accused the president of failing to reach an agreement with his counterparts in Latin America to stem the tide of migrants.“I am completely stunned,” he said. “Where is the American intelligence? Don’t they know that all the countries are conspiring against the United States to make sure they have this crisis being made so they could charge for that crisis?”Mujica also unfavorably compared Biden’s immigration policies to those of his predecessor Donald Trump, who had made constructing a wall on the southern border to keep out migrants one of the centerpieces of his presidency.“Trump at least knew what to say to make sure that he doesn’t fuel immigration,” Mujica said.Biden is facing mounting pressure to bring down the number of migrants crossing both legally and illegally into the US from Mexico.Many migrants are fleeing poverty and political unrest in their homelands, and this year has seen record numbers crossing the Darien Gap region connecting Panama and Colombia. By September, 420,000 migrants, aided by Colombian smugglers, had passed through the gap in the year to date, Panamanian figures showed.The caravan which is currently traveling north through Mexico is said to be the largest since June 2022, when 6,000 migrants set out for the southern border.The migrants in the currernt caravan complained processing for refugee or exit visas takes too long at Mexico’s main migrant processing center in Tapachula. Under Mexico’s overwhelmed migration system, people seeking such visas often wait for weeks or months, without being able to work.Mújica said migrants are often forced to live on the streets in squalor, with little to no help from the Mexican authorities. Asylum seekers formed a long line Monday along the highway, escorted at times by police.“We have been traveling for about three months, and we’re going to keep on going,” said Daniel González, from Venezuela. “In Tapachula, nobody helps us.”Returning to Venezuela is not an option, he said, because the economic situation there has deteriorated so much.With Post wires
01 Kasım 2023 - 19:50
Largest migrant caravan in year heading to US – as leader mocks Biden’s border policies
Caravan organizer Irineo Mujica accused President Biden of allowing Latin American counries to “gang up” on the U.S.
01 Kasım 2023 - 19:50