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Immigration

Report: Biden quietly telling Mexico to curb surge of migrants

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The Biden administration has been quietly urging Mexico to increase its efforts to stem the flow of Latin American migrants, according to a New York Times report Thursday.

This report came the same day that the administration announced plans to share millions of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses with Mexico and Canada.

At Thursday’s press briefing, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the United States was planning to send 2.5 million doses of the vaccine to Mexico and 1.5 million to Canada, adding that it was “not finalized yet, but that is our aim.”

During a video call this month with Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, President Joe Biden asked him whether more could be done to help solve the problem of the migrant surge at the border, Mexican officials and another person briefed on the conversation told The Times.

MORE ON THE BORDER: Biden’s message to migrants: ‘Don’t come over’

The pair also discussed the possibility of the U.S. sending Mexico some of its extra vaccine doses, a senior Mexican official told the newspaper. Mexico has publicly asked the Biden administration to send it doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

“Both governments cooperate on the basis of an orderly, safe and regular migration system,” Roberto Velasco, director general for the North America region at Mexico’s foreign ministry, said in a statement, referring to the engagement between the two countries on migration and vaccines, according to The Times.

However, Velasco said there was no quid pro quo for vaccines: “These are two separate issues, as we look for a more humane migratory system and enhanced cooperation against COVID-19, for the benefit of our two countries and the region.”

MORE ON THE BORDER: Mayorkas grilled about testing migrants for COVID-19

A Biden administration official declined to comment on discussions with Mexico, but noted to The Times that both countries shared a common goal of reducing migration by addressing its root causes, and said they were working closely to restrict the flow of migrants to the border.

Mexico has agreed to boost its presence on its southern border with Guatemala to impede migration from Central America, one of the government officials said, according to the newspaper. Local Mexican officials too, The Times reported, say their country has lately increased efforts to stop migrants on the northern border with the U.S. also.

MORE ON THE BORDER: Arizona AG: Biden ‘incentivizing’ migrants ‘to break the law and come here’

As The Times noted, there were indications that Mexico’s commitment to stopping migrants might have decreased in the final months of the Trump administration, who would threaten tariffs against Mexican products unless the country acted more to stem the flow of migrants.

Between October and December of last year, the number of Central Americans detained by Mexico dipped, while arrests by the U.S. rose, according to Mexican government numbers and data gathered by The Washington Office on Latin America, a research organization that promotes human rights.

“The likelihood of the outgoing Trump administration threatening tariffs again was low, so there was an incentive for Mexico to go back to its default state of low apprehensions,” said Adam Isacson, a border security expert at The Washington Office on Latin America, according to The Times.

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.

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Immigration

Overdose death in IN apartment building leads officers to 13 migrants, mostly children, in basement squalor

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13 illegal aliens — most of them children — were reportedly living in an apartment building basement in Indiana, only found because of an overdose death. Officers of the Hammond Police Department were called to investigate the death of a resident in the multi-unit building. But during the investigation, officers discovered a large number of migrants were illegally living in the building’s basement, WGN-TV reported.

When officers arrived, they found 13 illegals from Venezuela — including nine children ranging in age from two months to 14 years, and two women and two men — living in the basement space.

Neighbors told the media that they had no idea that so many people were living illegally in the building as they never saw any of them outside the home.

Further investigation revealed that a local member of the clergy had arranged the illegal living quarters for the migrants. The clergy member was not identified publicly and he has not been charged with anything at present.

“The City of Hammond is not open to this type of illegal criminal activity and [they have] placed people in significant harm, including children,” said Hammond Mayor Thomas M. McDermott Jr. who insisted he would hold the clergy member accountable.

It has not yet been reported what the migrants will do, where they will go, and if the city will be on the hook to care for them.

Breitbart News reports that Hammond, Indiana, is just one of many cities in which large numbers of illegals have been found crammed into small spaces in squalid living conditions.

In March, New York City building inspectors discovered an illegal flop house for migrants in which some 70 of them were living in the cramped basement of a Queens furniture store. Through an investigation it was found that the building’s owner, a man named Ebou Sarr, himself an immigrant, was charging the illegals $300 a month to live there.

 

 

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