The White House has secretly been urging Mexico to take in more illegal immigrants expelled from the US under the Title 42 health policy — despite the administration publicly claiming it wants to scrap it, according to a new report.
Mexico already accepts migrants from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador that have been turned away by the US.
But Reuters reports Biden administration officials are now pressuring Mexico City to resettle migrants from Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela as the border crisis escalates and crossings soar to record highs.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken raised concerns about the surge of migrants from those three countries during an official visit on Monday, two US and two Mexican officials told the wire service.
Mexico did not promise any specific actions and trying to convince them was “an uphill battle,” officials said.
The White House has repeatedly tried to lift Title 42 — the COVID health order that was put in place in early 2020 by former President Donald Trump as a way to quickly send migrants back across the border without hearing their asylum claims amid the ongoing pandemic.
A Trump-appointed federal judge in Louisiana blocked the administration’s push to end the order earlier this year.
But behind closed doors, some Biden officials view the expulsion order as a way to help curb the ongoing crisis — even though it flies in the face of the open-border policy the Democrats have been pushing, a US official said.
So far this fiscal year, Mexico has already taken in about 299,000 migrants from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador who have been stopped at the US border. By comparison, only 9,000 migrants from Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela have been returned to Mexico.
Many of the migrants from those nations are allowed to stay in the US to pursue asylum claims because they are more difficult to deport due to frosty diplomatic relations with their respective governments.
The Mexican government doesn’t want to take on the extra migrants because Havana, Managua and Caracas won’t accept deportations from Mexico either, two officials told Reuters.
A spokesperson for the White House National Security Council would not discuss “diplomatic conversations” between the US and Mexico, but said some countries in the region “have already begun to take collective responsibility to manage migration flows, including through repatriations.”
The White House is also desperately trying to find ways to push responsibility for the migrants to other countries like Panama, according to officials.
The push to have Mexico accept more migrants comes after Vice President Kamala Harris, who was put in charge of border issues by Biden 18 months ago, declared earlier this week that the border was “secure.”
“The border is secure, but we also have a broken immigration system, in particular, over the last four years before we came in, and it needs to be fixed,” Harris told NBC’s “Meet The Press.”
Migrant arrest numbers have almost doubled under the Biden administration and have already exceeded last year’s record, according to the latest Customs and Border Protection data.
So far this fiscal year, Border Patrol agents have reported more than 1.94 million encounters at the border, which is up from the 1.73 million encounters in all of 2021 and just over 458,000 in 2020.
With Post wires