A 9-year-old Mexican girl died attempting to cross the Rio Grande on Tuesday, March 30. Her 3-year-old brother and Guatemalan mother were unconscious when Border Patrol rescued them that day. The child was pronounced dead at Eagle Pass hospital in Texas.
“More than 170,000 migrants were apprehended at the southwest border in March,” according to The New York Times. “The most in any month for at least 15 years and up nearly 70 percent from February 2021. Thousands of children remain in detention facilities [while] border agents released an increasing number of migrants into the US,” The Times reported.
In the interim, the Mexican drug cartels — Sinaloa and Jalisco New Generation together with MS-13, their U.S. counterpart — remain in control of the Mexico-U.S. border. Although this statement might appear ludicrous, anyone who explains it differently is uneducated about the topic or has some ulterior motive.
Since the Biden administration took office, migrant children are being tagged by the Mexican cartels with plastic color-coded arm bands instructing them what to do when confronted by Border Patrol. For example, one color-coded band reads: “Give yourself up to a Border Patrol official.”
Most migrant children crossing the border are petrified. For the most part they have they been forced to travel solo, without a parent or family member for the better part of 3,000 miles. They are also under the complete control of their coyotes, polleros or traffickers, who have been paid handsomely to smuggle them in. Exhausted and frightened, the children are forced to cross the Rio Grande Valley which traverses approximately 34,000 square miles along the southeast border of Texas.
During President Biden’s first press conference on March 23, he said, “I am flattered [that] people (referring to Central Americans and Mexican immigrants) are coming [to the U.S.] because I’m the nice guy; that’s the reason why it’s happening.” Mr. Biden also announced, “Nothing has changed. As many people came — 28 percent increase in children to the border in my administration; 31 percent in the last year of — in 2019, before the pandemic, in the Trump administration. It happens every single, solitary year. There is a significant increase in the number of people coming to the border in the winter months of January-March.” Hmmm
In view of my research and 14 years of on-the-field-experience, as an advocate for trafficked survivors and author of TrafficKing, the first definitive book on the Jeffrey Epstein child sex trafficking case, the information Mr. Biden suggests is at best debatable.
An insider at the highest echelons of the private banking world explained why Mexican President Lopez Obrador, known as AMLO, reneged on his 2017 immigration deal with former President Trump. Under that agreement, AMLO promised to hold back Central American migrants inside Mexico, including children, and return them home. If he did not uphold the agreement, the Trump administration would impose 5% import tariffs on all Mexican goods.
Yet when Mr. Biden took office, AMLO suddenly reversed his position, broke his agreement with the former administration and is now pursuing a new course, encouraging masses of undocumented migrants to cross the U.S. border illegally.
The reason, however, is not as Mr. Biden claimed that, he is “a nice guy.” Although I believe Mr. Biden is a compassionate man and have great sympathy for him under his circumstances, the reason is far more sinister. He and his administration are easily bullied and he does not know what to do.
During his press conference, Mr. Biden explained, “the way to deal with this problem — and I started to deal with it back when I was a United States senator — I mean, Vice President (2008-2016)— [was] putting together a bipartisan plan of over $700 million to deal with the root causes of why people are leaving.”
So, where does that plan stand today? Why didn’t the Obama administration manage the 80,000-plus children that entered the United States illegally during the 2014 border crisis without their parents? And, where are those unaccompanied minors today?
Unlike Mr. Biden who is not obstructed by the growing MS cartel in the United States, AMLO continues to battle the Mexican cartels for control of his country. The one saving grace is that Mexico recently freed itself from two of its most powerful Sinaloa leaders: Joaquin El Chapo Guzman, the former capo of Mexico’s most ruthless syndicate, and his wife, Emma Coronel de Guzman. They were arrested separately for drug trafficking and other crimes against humanity. El Chapo is serving time in a U.S. penitentiary while Emma Coronel is awaiting trial.
Mr. Biden, AMLO and their Central American counterparts must create a partnership that would: enhance security in the hardest hit Central American communities; advance education; provide adequate health care and increase job security. All of which would in time increase economic stability. A successful partnership will: a) Protect its citizens from the destabilizing influence of the cartels; b) Encourage education; c) Create vocational training for students and; d) Extend health care benefits for all families.
• Conchita Sarnoff is executive director of the Alliance to Rescue Victims of Trafficking. She is the author of “Trafficking” (Simon % Schuster, 2020).