A migrant caravan is forming in Honduras with the help of social media. Hondurans are using Facebook and WhatsApp to organize a trek to the U.S.-Mexican border scheduled for next week. Mark Morgan, the acting commissioner at U.S. Customs and Border Protection, has a message for them – “Do not waste your time and money, and do not risk your safety and health.”
Morgan is saying that the migrant caravan will be stopped. It will not be allowed to move north. The United States, Central American allies and Mexico will at some point turn the caravan back if it leaves from Honduras as planned. “Migrant caravan groups will not be allowed to make their way north in violation of the sovereignty, standing public health orders, and immigration laws of the respective nations throughout the region.”
One of President Trump’s successes is the alliance he crafted together with the leaders of Mexico and Central America to help quell the surge of migrants heading for the U.S. southern border, including caravans that have included thousands of people. In December, with the news of a Biden victory and the effects of the devastation of Hurricanes Eta and Iota, a Honduran migrant caravan formed. It was stopped. A caravan in October was shut down by Guatemala and Mexico. Trump’s alliance remains in place until Joe Biden is inaugurated and he begins to tear down the progress the Trump administration has made.
Restrictions put in place in Honduras to mitigate the coronavirus pandemic are making it more difficult for those who lost so much in the hurricanes to get back on their feet. They are turning to caravan organizers for help to reach “paradise”. Border arrests are up, too. Mark Morgan is getting out in front of this caravan that is suppose to leave on January 15, telling people not to do it. They won’t be successful.
In one Facebook group that boasts more than 5,500 members, people exchange advice on how to reach “paradise”, how to protect themselves against fraudsters and the coronavirus on their trip north, and share prayers.
Border arrests reached the highest level in nearly two years in December.
On Dec. 19, the team of President-elect Joe Biden said he and Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador vowed in a phone call to hone a “new approach” to migration issues that “offers alternatives to undertaking the dangerous journey to the United States.”
We know what the “new approach” will be because Biden made plenty of promises on the campaign trail and during the transition period he continues to say he’ll end deportations, end detentions at the border, and he’ll do blanket amnesty for millions of people here illegally. Open Borders Joe is back.
A ruling came down Friday from an Obama-appointed judge in San Francisco against the Trump administration’s most sweeping set of asylum restrictions less than two weeks before Biden takes office. This is the fifth time the restrictions have been halted. They were supposed to go into effect on Monday. The ruling doesn’t pack quite the punch it would normally because the government has largely suspended asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border during the coronavirus pandemic, for public health reasons.
Still, letting the rules take effect would have been felt by some who can still claim asylum and make it significantly more difficult for all asylum-seekers once pandemic-related measures are lifted.
President Donald Trump’s administration argued that the measures were an appropriate response to a system rife with abuse and overwhelmed with unworthy claims.
They sought to redefine how people qualify for asylum and similar forms of humanitarian protection if they face persecution at home. The restrictions would have broadened the grounds for a judge to deem asylum applications “frivolous” and prohibit applicants from ever winning protections in the U.S.
U.S. District Judge James Donato in San Francisco ruled that acting Homeland Security secretary Chad Wolf doesn’t have the authority to implement the new restrictions. Donato said that Wolf’s appointment violated an established order of succession. The judge took a slap at the government’s case, stating that it lost in court the last four times, too. Mostly, Donato has a problem with Wolf’s appointment as acting Homeland Security secretary. He says Wolf jumped the line in succession. It sounds like the judge wants to micromanage Trump appointments.
“The government has recycled exactly the same legal and factual claims made in the prior cases, as if they had not been soundly rejected in well-reasoned opinions by several courts,” Donato wrote. “This is a troubling litigation strategy. In effect, the government keeps crashing the same car into a gate, hoping that someday it might break through.”
Donato said his ruling applies nationwide because limiting its reach “would result in a fragmented and disjointed patchwork of immigration policy.”
Biden has targeted Trump’s agreement with Mexico, the Remain in Mexico plan, in particular. Now that he is about to take office, he is walking back some of his promises to immediately do this or that with immigration reform measures, now saying he won’t get much done on the subject for at least six months. Also on Friday, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia overruled policy that gave state and local governments the right to refuse to resettle refugees.
The three-judge panel said Trump’s executive order that required both state and local entities to give their consent before allowing refugees to be placed in their areas would undermine the 1980 Refugee Act. That law set by Congress was designed to allow resettlement agencies to find the best place for a person to thrive while working with local and state officials.
Ending the Trump administration’s asylum policies has been named as a priority in Biden’s immigration reform plans. It looks like there is no shortage of Obama-appointed judges to help him achieve that goal.