The Biden administration is developing a strategy to send federal immigration agents to Panama as part of an effort to change asylum requirements and address migratory pressures at the U.S. southern border. Here are the details and reactions to this plan.
Federal Agents in Panama: Strategy to Change Asylum Requirements
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is leading the strategy, involving sending a group of asylum agents from the immigration service and ICE agents to Panama. Their task will be to train Panamanian agents to assess potential asylum seekers and carry out deportations for those without a legal basis to enter the United States.
The move comes in response to a significant increase in migrants, especially on the Darien Gap route, a jungle on the border of Panama with South America. This location has become a key route for those seeking to reach the northern border of Mexico and apply for asylum in the United States.
Objective: Reduce migratory pressure and establish stricter requirements
The stated goal by the White House is to tighten asylum requirements to ease pressure on the southern border, which has seen a steady flow of hundreds of thousands of migrants. The strategy includes collaboration with Panamanian authorities to determine plausible causes for asylum and carry out deportations.
500,000 migrants in 2023: challenges and the need for action
In 2023 so far, approximately 500,000 migrants, mostly from Venezuela, have crossed the Darien Gap, according to Panamanian government data. This massive flow has led Panama to request assistance from the United States to control the situation.
Reactions to this strategy are mixed. Some immigrant rights advocates express concern about potential restrictions on asylum access. On the other hand, the administration argues the need for additional measures to address the migration crisis.
Funding and formal agreement: Necessary steps
The strategy will be funded with State Department funds, and the Biden Administration has notified Congress about the request to redirect funds to the DHS. Implementation will depend on the completion and signing of a formal agreement between Panama and the United States.
This plan, still in development, reflects the administration’s efforts to address the complex situation at the southern border. As it progresses, a continued debate is expected on changes to asylum requirements and how these will affect applicants and the overall immigration system. Stay tuned for additional updates on this issue.
Source: Univision acortar.link/QdJJJf