As President-elect Joe Biden’s administration prepares to offer amnesty to approximately 11 million illegal immigrants in the United States as soon as he takes office, a caravan of thousands of migrants from Honduras is making its way across Central America to the southern U.S. border.
Fleeing Honduras after being plagued by hurricanes, drought, and financial instability, approximately 9,000 of these migrants are en route to the United States hoping for a better life. This weekend, more than 2,000 of the people in the caravan clashed with Guatemalan law enforcement at the northwest Honduras border, bypassing the documentation checks and COVID-19 screening requirements to continue traveling through the country.
That part of the caravan is now marching on and is estimated to arrive in mere weeks at the U.S. border, where it will be met by an open-border-friendly Biden administration.
Guatemala Police and National Civil Police use batons and tear gas on US-bound migrant caravan. pic.twitter.com/4HwzqVTui2
— The Hill (@thehill) January 17, 2021
In addition to promising rollbacks of the Trump administration’s asylum eligibility and border-security measures, Biden has also pledged to introduce a bill during his first few days in office to ensure citizenship status for the millions of those who currently maintain temporary protected status, are part of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or are even “front-line essential workers.” With Biden in office, detention and deportation are quickly falling to the bottom of the border-security priority list.
These changes, Biden and his incoming chief of staff Ron Klain say, will “restore humanity to our immigration system” and bring out the values of the U.S. immigration process.
Despite the Biden administration’s hope that its immigration agenda will be the reform the United States and illegal immigrants need, senior Biden officials are beginning to worry that those who are part of the large influx at the southern border “will not find when they get to the U.S. border that from Tuesday to Wednesday, things have changed overnight and ports are all open and they can come into the United States.”
“There’s help on the way, but now is not the time to make the journey,” one official told NBC News.
While the official promised that the Biden team wants to “provide a message that help and hope is on the way,” the official warned the caravan not to come to the U.S. right now. “Coming right now does not make sense for their own safety … while we put into place processes that they may be able to access in the future,” the official said.
As of right now, the transition team has no plans to expand or amp up border security and immigration enforcement.