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Migrant Caravan, Now in Guatemala, Tests Regional Resolve to Control Migration

  • January 18, 2021

He added, “Our goal is to reach the United States.”

The Mexican authorities have deployed additional troops and immigration officers along the country’s southern border in anticipation of the caravan’s arrival.

While poverty, violence and government corruption appear to be the main drivers of the latest caravan, the change in American leadership this week may also be a factor. Migrants’ advocates and scholars have warned that President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s victory over Mr. Trump could inspire a surge of migrants hopeful that his administration will significantly relax migration policy, making it easier for them to get into the country.

During the presidential campaign, Mr. Biden said he would move quickly to undo the tougher restrictions on asylum enacted by the Trump administration, including a policy that has forced many asylum seekers to wait in Mexico pending the outcome of their cases.

On his first day in office, Mr. Biden plans to ask Congress for a broad overhaul of immigration laws, changes that would include a pathway to citizenship for 11 million immigrants now in the United States illegally, plus aid for damaged Central American economies and plans to help people fleeing violence.

Last month, Mr. Biden, in an effort to avert a rush of migrants to the border, cautioned that changes to immigration policy could not be put in place immediately and that his administration would need “probably the next six months” to develop a more “humane policy” for processing migrants.

Kirk Semple reported from Mexico City, and Nic Wirtz from Antigua, Guatemala. Austin Ramzy contributed reporting.

Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/17/world/americas/migrant-caravan-us-biden-guatemala-immigration.html

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