Washington. More than two million migrants, most from Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras, who entered the United States illegally were detained at the border with Mexico during 2021, according to official statistics, which meant a record level.
In December alone, more than 180,000 were arrested, according to figures published yesterday, which raises the annual total to the highest.
The Republican Party immediately accused Democratic President Joe Biden and his Vice President, Kamala Harris, of creating a “historic humanitarian crisis.”
“Under his leadership, cartels and smugglers are proliferating, border guards are overstretched, and our communities are less safe,” party leader Ronna McDaniel added in a statement.
Migration flows, which fell sharply at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, began to rise again before Joe Biden took office a year ago, but have clearly spiked afterwards.
The Democrat had initially tried to minimize them, speaking of a seasonal phenomenon.
The record arrivals this summer, with around 200,000 arrests in July and August, when desert crossings are most dangerous, had proven him wrong.
These arrivals pose a considerable human, logistical, and financial challenge to the Democratic administration, particularly as it has pledged not to return unaccompanied minors.
Joe Biden promised to regularize thousands of undocumented immigrants during his electoral campaign, although so far he has not been able to keep his promise.
On his first day in the White House, Biden proposed a bill to offer an eight-year path to citizenship for an estimated 11 million unauthorized immigrants. The legislative package is called the US Citizenship Act of 2021.
The Democratic president has already served a year in the White House and that immigration reform has not happened, despite the fact that Democrats enjoy a slim majority in both the Senate and the Lower House in Washington.
His efforts to reform the immigration system are bogged down in Congress, as they have been for the past 20 years, and the issue is expected to be a major issue in the November midterm elections.
The border with Mexico has given the government headaches, which maintained the controversial Title 42, a provision used since the Trump era that allows undocumented migrants to be immediately expelled, even if they are asylum seekers, due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The government of President Biden is waging another battle: “Stay in Mexico”, which has led to the Supreme Court in the hope of annulling them after several judicial setbacks.