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Report: Biden Presidency Stirs Worry in Mexico as Lax Immigration Policies Lead to Explosion in Gang Activity

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Mexico is worried that the Biden administration’s asylum policies are creating a business for organized crime and illegal immigration, according to official and internal assessments reportedly reviewed by Reuters.

Detentions at the border have surged since President Joe Biden’s inauguration on Jan. 20 and Mexico has urged the new U.S. president to help stem the flow of migrants by providing aid to Central America, according to Reuters.

The outlet reported in a separate article that border agents detained nearly 100,000 migrants at the border in February.

February’s total represented an increase from the 78,000 detained in January and the highest monthly number since June 2019.

“They see him as the migrant president, and so many feel they’re going to reach the United States,” Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said following a March 1 meeting with Biden, Reuters reported.

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“We need to work together to regulate the flow, because this business can’t be tackled from one day to the next.”

The internal assessments allegedly warn that the new administration’s policies will “incentivize migration” as gangs look to diversify methods of smuggling and winning clients.

Among these policies are improved support for victims of gangs and violence, streamlined legalization process and the suspension of Trump administration deportation accords.

Mexican policies, including offering COVID-19 vaccines to migrants and protections for undocumented children, are also purportedly not helping to stop the flow of migrants.

However, one unnamed Mexican official reportedly told Reuters that organized crime has exhibited “unprecedented” levels of sophistication “from the day Biden took office.”

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Migrants are traveling in small groups instead of caravans and are following more dangerous routes to avoid detection, according to the official.

Smugglers are reportedly communicating with their clients via social media platforms like Facebook and WhatsApp to update migrants on checkpoints, when freight trains will pass and how to navigate immigration laws.

Their clients are told to register complaints that they have been victims of extortion or have faced death threats, according to the outlet.

Migrants are also purportedly advised to bring children so it is easier to apply for asylum, as has also been the case in previous years.

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“Migrants have become a commodity,” the official said, according to Reuters, adding that migrants are now as valuable as drugs for gang members.

“But if a packet of drugs is lost in the sea, it’s gone. If migrants are lost, it’s human beings we’re talking about.”

The attorney general of Chihuahua, Cesar Peniche, reportedly told the outlet the high volume of migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border has prompted gangs to recruit some migrants as drug mules and kidnap others for money.

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Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. A University of Oregon graduate, Erin has conducted research in data journalism and contributed to various publications as a writer and editor.
Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. She grew up in San Diego, California, proceeding to attend the University of Oregon and graduate with honors holding a degree in journalism. During her time in Oregon, Erin was an associate editor for Ethos Magazine and a freelance writer for Eugene Magazine. She has conducted research in data journalism, which has been published in the book “Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future.” Erin is an avid runner with a heart for encouraging young girls and has served as a coach for the organization Girls on the Run. As a writer and editor, Erin strives to promote social dialogue and tell the story of those around her.
Birthplace
Tucson, Arizona
Nationality
American
Honors/Awards
Graduated with Honors
Education
Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, University of Oregon
Books Written
Contributor for Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future
Location
Prescott, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English, French
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Health, Entertainment, Faith




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