U.S. Border Control Migrant Surge What Impact Is It Having

May 11 11:54 2021 Print This Article

The surge of immigration in the U.S.-Mexico southern border is forcing the reassignment of more patrol agents from the northern border side to control this migration surge. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection has already sent more than 300 Border Patrol agents from northern to the coastal region to assist in controlling this surge.

In March, more than 172,000 migrants were arrested by security agencies at the southern border. This represented the biggest increase in illegal entrance in 15 years according to the Biden administration. There is also a surge in the got-aways or those that evade law enforcement agents at the border. It shows that migration is slowly becoming a problem at the southern border.

The surge in immigration has weakened the ability of the security enforcement agencies to fight crime. Such crimes include smuggling and human trafficking. These crimes are committed by individuals and transnational criminal organizations using the US southern border. This is definitely the first direct impact of the migrant surge.

What Is Causing this Surge?

More people are coming to the U.S.-Mexico border to seek refuge as a result of the impacts of the Hurricanes Eta and Iota. These people are coming mostly from Central America. The region was hit by hurricanes last November. The effects of the hurricanes included torrential rain, flash floods, landslides, and damages to crops. Notable damages from this hurricane have been witnessed in Nicaragua, Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras.

Hence the surge in immigration is also resulting from factors made worse by the hurricane such as violence, food insecurity, and poverty. The hurricane has affected about 7.3 million people in these areas.

The region of the Pacific coast of Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua is also regarded as a Dry Corridor. Hence it is a place common with long-term drought, which is also forcing people to move at the southern border.

Several people are concerned that the number of immigrants is increasing because the Biden administration is not tightening the enforcement against it. The Trump administration had imposed some border restrictions but some people feel that these do limit access to humanitarian protection. This is the reason there has been lax to let more people in through the border. Further, there has been lax in expelling people, especially children, and youth immigrants.

The current administration has been more concerned about moving families and children out of US Border Patrol custody than expelling them. The people have to be moved from these custodies to prevent overcrowding at the custody. The people are, instead, required to spend a little bit longer time in detention facilities in other places than the custody at the border.

Although this led to a decrease in the population at the border custody, it has caused a hike in population in other centers meant for migrant detention.

Increased Spread of Coronavirus

Some fear that sending border control agents to the southern border may increase the spread of the coronavirus to the northern border. The officers themselves may pick the virus from the southern border. This is according to a leader of a local National Border Patrol Council. The current rate of coronavirus spread at the border is 6 percent.

Last week, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement facility in Aurora discovered 200 migrants having been infected by the virus. This was the largest reported outbreak record since the first case of coronavirus was recorded in Aurora.

The migrants had been staying at this detention center after being moved from the southern border custody. According to a Patrol Council spokeswoman, the migrants found to be infected with the virus were transferred from detention facilities along the border during the second half of April this year.

Most had come from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection custody facilities. This comes even as a report said testing of coronavirus cases was compromised due to the surge in the number of people crossing the southern border. According to CDC guidelines, everyone must be tested at the border after crossing and then quarantined if found to test positive.

Otherwise, they must not be transferred either after testing positive or before being tested. The fact that the administration at Aurora was unable to verify if they had been tested or where they had come from shows guidelines on COVID-19 have been relaxed at the border. However, the Customs and Border Patrol said on the matter that it was acceptable according to CBP procedures to send the people to local health systems for appropriate testing, diagnosis, and treatment.

Affecting Security in Other Places

New York and other places are now forced to have a smaller number of security agents than normal following the reassignment of agents to the southern border. A letter from Rep. John Katko, R-Syracuse, and Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-Schuylerville sent to President Biden last week confirmed that the administrators are worried about the low staffing of agents along the Northern Border.

It said that the low staffing left waters of Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River and the North Country unguarded.

Additionally, the reassignment of agents from northern to southern borders may encourage crime in the northern region, said Sheriff Favro of Plattsburgh. He said it sent a wrong message to criminal gangs who are targeting New York as a market for low-price marijuana. Yet New York has legalized the sale of only regulated and taxed cannabis.

Stefanik said the Biden administration may also not be preparing the communities well enough for the moving of migrants from the southern border to New York.

Surveillance Companies Reaping Big

Vanguard Group, BlackRock, and Capital Research Management are some of the companies advocating for use and actually selling border surveillance technologies and border services. The border surveillance industry is now very profitable that individual investors are investing in these companies.

The governments at the border are also outsourcing border management to well-known companies such as Accenture, IBM, and Boeing.

Further, the politicians who have direct and indirect benefits from the border and surveillance industry want to see it grow. They are supporting these surveillance technologies and have therefore framed migration as a security threat.

More Abuses of Rights

Increased participation of surveillance companies at the borders is also resulting in severe human rights abuses. At the receiving end of such abuses are refugees and migrants at the border. This is because the companies are less directly accountable for their actions against the migrants and refugees.

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Alan Davison
Alan Davison

Alan Davison, internet researcher, full-time writer for 15 years. Writer and publisher of Newsinsider.org Stockinsider.org Impressionism.org altenergy.org or Follow me on Twitter.

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