Migrant Crossings on U.S. Southern Border Increase 2:33
(CNN Spanish) -- "Depressurize" the border. That is the key to the new agreement reached by the governments of the United States and Mexico in a new attempt to find solutions to the crisis of migrants seeking to reach the border between the two countries that have the governments of both countries under pressure and that has created an unprecedented humanitarian crisis in the region.
The U.S. and Mexican governments have reached an agreement to deport undocumented immigrants from their border cities to their home countries and take several steps to deter them as part of a new effort to combat the recent spike in irregular crossings at Mexico's southern border.
The agreement follows an increase in crossings by undocumented immigrants at the southern U.S. border, which in recent weeks again reached pre-Title 42 figures, with 8,000 border apprehensions in one day last week. Daily apprehension numbers had dropped dramatically to 3,500 per day after the end of Title 42.
Between January 1 and September 22, 2023, federal migration agents have "rescued" — the euphemism for detentions used by the Mexican government — just over 1.4 million migrants and of those, some 788,000 were returned by land and air, the National Institute of Migration said in a statement. this Friday.
But due to the ongoing mass migration throughout the Western Hemisphere, there have again been increases in crossings, so the U.S. and Mexican governments reached an agreement to depressurize the cities of northern Mexico that border El Paso, Eagle Pass, in Texas and San Diego, in California, putting in place a plan to deport migrants that would return them to their countries of origin. in addition to launching a series of actions to prevent the railway system from being used to reach the border with the United States.
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Migrant Crossings on U.S. Southern Border Increase 2:33
Here are some keys to what we know about the agreement and the migrant crisis:
What is the migration agreement between Mexico and the United States?
The agreement, in simple words, is that undocumented immigrants will be deported from their border cities to their countries of origin and measures will be taken to dissuade them from making the journey across the continent to seek asylum in the United States.
A series of points were also agreed to prevent migrants from risking their lives by using the rail system to reach the US-Mexico border, according to Mexico's National Institute of Migration.
Migrants walk behind barbed wire in the water along the Rio Grande's border with Mexico in Eagle Pass, Texas, July 15, 2023. (Credit: SUZANNE CORDEIRO/AFP via Getty Images)
What happens at the border for this decision to be made?
There is currently a flow of migrants traveling toward the southern border of the United States amid a mass migration unprecedented in the Western Hemisphere.
Although the U.S. government has implemented a series of measures to get immigrants into the country legally — such as a CBPOne mobile app to prevent illegal crossings and migrant centers in some Western Hemisphere countries for migrants to apply for visas — the desperation and misinformation of smugglers have led migrants to cross anyway.
And in recent weeks, crossings by undocumented immigrants along the U.S.-Mexico border have surged, topping 8,600 in a 24-hour period last week, according to a U.S. Department of Homeland Security official. That represents an increase of about 3,500 daily border arrests after the expiration of Title 42 in May triggered new consequences for those crossing the border illegally.
In addition, following the recent surge in illegal crossings into the U.S., an international bridge was temporarily closed and Mexico's main freight train system was temporarily halted.
Some 6,500 immigrants are being held in El Paso alone, which "has a limited amount of resources," Mayor Oscar Leeser said at Saturday's news conference.
"We've reached what we consider a breaking point right now," the mayor said.
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What actions were agreed?
Mexican and U.S. officials agreed to implement 15 actions, some in coordination with U.S. Customs and Border Protection and Ferromex, to meet the needs of the rail system and deter migrants from risking their lives on the train, according to Mexico's National Institute of Migration. Here are a few:
1. Deport migrants to their countries of origin by land and air.
2. Allow CBP to expel migrants through the Ciudad Juarez International Bridge, which connects to El Paso.
3. Carry out negotiations with the Governments of Venezuela, Brazil, Nicaragua, Colombia and Cuba for the reception of their deported citizens.
4. Carrying out interventions in railways and roads.
5. Establish checkpoints along Ferromex's rail route.
6. Provide CBP's El Paso Sector with a daily report on the number of migrants in the rail system.
7. Enable shelters at the gates of Ciudad Juárez to serve migrants, especially children and adolescents.
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What other measures is the Biden administration taking in the migrant crisis?
Biden has been plagued by problems at the border since his first months in office, when the U.S. faced a surge of unaccompanied migrant children that took officials by surprise. For the past two years, his administration has continued to face fierce opposition from Republicans (and, at times, Democrats) over his immigration policies.
That complicated political landscape was brought into clear light last week when images emerged of migrants crossing into the U.S. as the government announced important measures to ensure the orderly immigration of thousands of Venezuelans already in the U.S. and to make them eligible to work, with the extension of Temporary Protected Status (TPS). for its acronym in English).
Biden, who faces decisive months ahead of the upcoming presidential election, lashed out at Republicans in Congress, saying they "continue to undermine our border security" by blocking bipartisan efforts to pass immigration reform.
Without immigration reform, the Biden administration has implemented a patchwork of policies to try to stem the flow of immigrants, which has not deterred thousands of migrants from crossing the border without documents.
Why did this recent mass migration flow occur?
U.S. Homeland Security officials are monitoring the situation and while they did not give a clear explanation for what drove the latest surge, they cited poor economies, authoritarian regimes and the climate crisis as driving forces for migration.
-- With information from CNN's Rosa Flores, Sara Weisfeldt, Emma Tucker, Priscilla Alvarez and Nicole Chavez.