AMERICASBorders and migration

Is it true that Biden’s Immigration Policy Has Had a Good Effect?

Andrés Manuel López Obrador, president of Mexico, stressed last Monday that the immigration policy of the US president has given good results.

Joe Biden


LatinAmerican Post | Santiago Gómez Hernández

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Leer en español: ¿Es verdad que la política migratoria de Biden ha tenido un buen efecto?

The immigration policies of the United States seem to be giving results in the intentions of reducing the flow of migrants at the southern border. Or at least, this is what the Mexican president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, said. Last Monday, February 13, the Latin American president said, in reference to immigration policy, that "we are seeing that some policies that President Biden is carrying out on immigration are giving results, I can prove it."

López Obrador was referring specifically to the policy that Washington promoted last January, in which it extended immigration permits to people with ties to the United States. This allowed the arrival of 30,000 migrants from Cuba, Venezuela, Haiti, and Nicaragua. At the same time, the extension of title 42 has also been implemented.

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Obrador considers that this has allowed a smoother and more organized migration. Thus, it highlights these actions and asks that this be the path taken by the neighbor to the north. However, the numbers from various countries may show a more concrete reality. For example, Honduras recorded close to 19,000 migrants who entered their country during the month of January alone. This reflects a 969% increase from the figures over the same month last year.

For its part, Panama registered the entry of 14,000 migrants in the first month of 2023. Today, more than half (more than 9,000) of these are Haitians and Ecuadorians. This represents 85.6% compared to 2022. However, other nationalities, such as Cubans, seem to be declining on their journey to the United States. In January 2023, 6,433 Cubans were registered entering through the southern border of Mexico, which would represent a reduction of 85% compared to 2022.

Even the Department of Homeland Security registered a 40% reduction in immigration detentions. In the past month, 128,410 arrests were registered, 70,000 less than in 2022.

Biden Seems to Want to Reactivate the "Stay in Mexico" Strategy

Despite the fact that López Obrador highlights the current policies of the United States, that policies could change. For several days, there has been speculation that Washington wants to negotiate a new pact to be able to massively deport non-Mexican migrants to the southern country.

This measure intends that any asylum seeker whose arrival has not been approved and who has not completed it from their country of origin, may face immediate deportation.

The Role of Mexico to Stop Being an Emigrant Country

Likewise, Andrés Manuel López Obrador highlighted numerous policies that have brought foreign investment and infrastructure to the southeast of the country. This region is one of the areas with the highest poverty rates in the Aztec country. The president punctually highlighted the construction of industrial parks and the Mayan Train plan. This is a mega infrastructure project that aims to connect the Yucatán peninsula with different cities of interest and thus boost the tourism industry. The project has 21 planned stations and 14 stops. It will connect the states of Chiapas, Tabasco, Campeche, Yucatán and Quintana Roo, covering 1,554 kilometers.

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