In one of the boldest moves made in the last days of his term, President Trump is attempting to stop the migrant caravan headed to the U.S.-Mexico border by extending the national border emergency until February of 2022.
Trump said in an announcement on Jan. 16, “The ongoing border security and humanitarian crisis at the southern border of the United States continues to threaten our national security, including by exacerbating the effect of the pandemic caused by COVID-19 … but further action is needed to address the humanitarian crisis and to control unlawful migration and the flow of narcotics and criminals across the southern border of the United States.”
The president originally declared the national border emergency in February of 2019, and this extension will continue it.
According to Trump, the emergency “must continue in effect beyond February 15, 2021.”
“I am continuing for 1 year the national emergency declared in Proclamation 9844 concerning the southern border of the United States,” Trump added.
The president campaigned and won in 2016 on the promise of curtailing illegal immigration by building a border wall. During his presidency, he succeeded in constructing over 450 miles of that wall.
On January 18, Joe Biden was called out by the group of approximately 9,000 Honduran migrants in the caravan, who asked that he honor his “commitments” to migrants and asylum seekers by allowing them entry into the United States.
Throughout his campaign, Biden has catered to illegal immigrants, promising them amnesty and saying that he would “eliminate President Trump’s decision to limit asylum and end the” program requiring asylum-seekers to remain in Mexico while waiting for their claims to be adjudicated.
Social media has been flooded with pictures and videos of the caravan.
Investigative reporter Drew Hernandez shared a video, with the caption: “Caravan from Honduras busting through Guatemala Border in route to the USA.”
Caravan from Honduras busting through Guatemala Border in route to the USApic.twitter.com/ZSdFqGLzxb
— Drew Hernandez (@DrewHLive) January 16, 2021
“Joe Biden promised amnesty throughout his campaign. A surge of migrants headed to our border is entirely predictable, and it’s a public health catastrophe,” tweeted Republican Senator Tom Cotton, noting COVID concerns.
Joe Biden promised amnesty throughout his campaign.
A surge of migrants headed to our border is entirely predictable, and it's a public health catastrophe. pic.twitter.com/EPIFlTTpvQ
— Tom Cotton (@TomCottonAR) January 17, 2021
Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Chief Mark Morgan shared similar concerns on Twitter, writing: “While a migrant caravan attempts to reach Mexico & the US led by irresponsible coordinators, our countries have had a combined 25 million COVID-19 cases & 500,000 deaths—and infections are surging! COVID is a silent killer & the number of migrants falling ill will only increase.”
While a migrant caravan attempts to reach Mexico & the US led by irresponsible coordinators, our countries have had a combined 25 million COVID-19 cases & 500,000 deaths—and infections are surging! COVID is a silent killer & the number of migrants falling ill will only increase. pic.twitter.com/PN87wUr69z
— CBP Mark Morgan (@CBPMarkMorgan) January 17, 2021
On January 18, an anonymous official on the Biden transition team told news outlets that the migrants should stop the caravan. The anonymous source argued that the migrants “need to understand they’re not going to be able to come into the United States immediately” and added that now “is not the time to make the journey.”