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Mounting pressure as migrants continue to pile up at Mexico-US border; human smugglers making situation worse

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Posted: Monday, March 15, 2021. 3:49 pm CST.

By Benjamin Flowers: The New York Times is reporting that tensions are rising in Mexico as hundreds of migrants trying to cross the border into the United States are being turned back, a situation reportedly being made worse by human smugglers.

The NY Times reports that “Coyotes,” the slang given to the human smugglers that charge migrants exorbitant fees for taking them into the US, have been using the transition of power in the US from former President Donald Trump to current President Joe Biden, as a pitch to get more migrants to solicit their services. The Times reports that Coyotes have been telling migrants that since Biden took up office earlier this year, the borders are now open, encouraging some to spend their entire life savings or go into debt with the hopes that they will find economic prosperity in the US.

Meanwhile, authorities in the US are turning adult migrants along with their small children back by the droves. Children that manage to make it into the US unaccompanied by an adult are taken to federal detention facilities, which have recently been filling up since the Biden administration said that it would not turn away unaccompanied children.

“The pressure, and desperation, is quickly building among families stuck in Mexico, as shelters and officials struggle to help them,” the NY Times said.

Many of the migrants being turned back have nowhere to go, having lost their homes and livelihoods in countries such as El Salvador and Honduras that were battered by major hurricanes and worsening economic conditions last year.

Last month President Biden signed a number of Executive Orders aimed at ending the immigration policies of his predecessor, but at the same time noted that the US needs time to mobilize resources and get the infrastructure in place to deal with its new position on migration. Biden and his officials pleaded with migrants not to make the journey to the US until those systems are in place.

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