PORTLAND, USA, May 03 (IPS) – About 225 million people from all over the world would like to emigrate permanently to the United States. But given current US policies, relatively few will be able to do so legally.
In 2021, the number of people granted legal residency in the United States was 740 thousand. In addition, based on past trends, the US Census Bureau’s population projections for the next four decades estimate an annual addition of approximately 1.1 million legal immigrants to the American population.
As a result, millions men, women and children wanting to immigrate to America but unable to do so legally resort to illegal immigration. In 2021, it is estimated 1.13 million people illegally migrated to America and in fiscal year 2022, more than 1.6 million migrants were apprehended while crossing the border illegally.
In addition, many illegal migrants are willing to risk their personal safety and lives to reach America. Over the past twelve months, no less than 853 immigrants died trying to reach America from Mexico, making fiscal year 2022 the deadliest year for unauthorized migrants registered with the U.S. government.
In addition, over the past fifteen years, Number of children encountered by Border Patrol agents at the southern border has increased dramatically. Since fiscal year 2008, the number of arrests of unaccompanied children has increased seventeen timesreaching a total of nearly 622 thousand.
About 97% of unaccompanied children come from four countries: Guatemala (32%), Honduras (28%), Mexico (21%) and El Salvador (16%). Furthermore, between 2008 and 2019, the number of unaccompanied and accompanied children apprehended at the southern border, reaching an overall total of 1.35 millionincreased quintuple (Figure 1).
On May 11, the administration is expected to end the Title 42 COVID-19 Pandemic Policy. This policy, on which the previous administrationallowed officials to turn away hundreds of thousands of people without offering them the possibility of applying for asylum.
In addition, earlier in March, another administrative policy, called Parole plus alternative to detention, was arrested by a Florida court. This policy aimed at reducing unauthorized migratory pressures through the use of ankle monitors or a phone app.
Despite the advertisement and assurances from senior Biden administration officials, including the Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken and Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Majorkorasto limit the flow of unauthorized migrants across the U.S. southern border, the combination of the March court ruling and the end of Title 42 is expected to result in a massive thrust of tens of thousands more unauthorized migrants arriving at the southern border. Estimated illegal crossings could reach up to 18,000 A day.
As has been the case in the recent past, such large numbers illegal migrants are already overwhelming border resources and overcrowded government facilities. At the end of April, more than 20,000 immigrants were in Border Patrol custody, more than double the design capacity of agency detention centers along the southern United States border.
These developments are expected to be followed by the release of many illegal migrants in the country without a court appearance, which is widely seen as a incentive to additional illegal entries. This decision will in turn continue to lead costs and create pressures on border communities as well as cities inside the country.
Prepare for the expected surge of unauthorized migrants at the country’s southern border, the Biden administration is implementing various immigration measures measures to address the illegal immigration crisis.
These measures include the opening of treatment centersincrease number of refugees from the western hemisphere, enrolling migrants in parole programs, making an appointment at the border via an app, seeking asylum in a country they have passed through and increase lanes for legal immigration, including for Salvadorans, Hondurans and Guatemalans find his family in the USA
Although two sponsored Republicans immigration bills are pending in the U.S. House of Representatives, Congress has yet to pass immigration legislation and is unlikely to do so in the run-up to the 2024 elections. As a result, President Biden used his executive authority measures to open the doors to hundreds of thousands migrants to enter America legally.
In addition to the use of humanitarian aid parole programs for people fleeing war and political upheaval, the Biden administration’s measures offer migrants opportunities to enter the United States and obtain work authorization if they have a private sponsor. In mid-April, approximately 300 thousand Ukrainians had arrived in America and by the end of 2023, approximately 360 thousand migrants from Latin America should be admitted legally through private sponsorship.
With few exceptions, the administration plans to cross asylum all non-Mexican migrants who arrive at the southern border of the United States without having first requested and been refused asylum in at least one of the countries they passed through during their journey . However, advocacy groups and their supporters to oppose this plan because they believe it violates US law and have threatened to sue administration.
THE root cause for illegal immigration to the United States is not complicated. Most unauthorized migrants who come to America do so to escape harsh living conditions. That of the administration foreign aid initiative improving living conditions in countries like El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras has made relatively little to stem historic levels of illegal immigration to the southern border.
It is certainly understandable that many of those living in difficult conditions, including poverty, unemployment, lack of basic services, violence and political instability, wish to emigrate. However, such living conditions are generally not grounds for allowing legal entry into America.
Consequently, many unauthorized migrants arriving at the US southern border seek asylum. To date, nearly 1.6 million asylum claims are pending in U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and Immigration Courts, which are the the biggest number registered pending cases.
According Section 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, everyone has the right to seek and enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution. Asylum is granted to people who can demonstrate that they cannot or do not want to return to their country because of persecution or a well-founded fear of being persecuted because of race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership of a particular group.
These migrants have been allowed to stay in the country while their case is being processed, which on average takes more than four years. During this period, migrants take steps to integrate into local communities, especially places offering refuge to illegal migrants.
The number of pending cases in the US immigration court asylum backlog has grown rapidly in recent years. Between 2012 and 2022, the number of pending cases in the asylum backlog has increased sevenfoldthat is, from about 106,000 to 757,000 (Figure 2).
Nevertheless, relatively few migrants whose applications have been rejected are repatriated. The number of non-national removals by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in fiscal year 2022 is 72 117.
With a growing world population of 8 billionthe supply of people wishing to migrate to the United States, estimated at approximately 225 million people, far exceeds US demand for migrants, which represents only a small fraction of the global supply.
Consequently, due to significant demographic and economic imbalances, millions of men, women and children resort to illegal migration to secure a better life in America. So far, neither Congress nor the White House has offered an effective solution. plan to solve the problem of illegal immigration to the United States.
Joseph Chamie is a consultant demographer, former director of the United Nations Population Division and author of numerous publications on population issues, including his recent book, “Population Levels, Trends and Differentials: More Important Demographic Questions”.
© Inter Press Service (2023) — All rights reservedOriginal source: Inter Press Service