Biden plans to deploy immigration officers to Panama to help screen and deport U.S.-bound migrants, officials say
Source: CBS News
November 20, 2023 / 8:00 AM EST
McAllen, Texas The Biden administration is planning to deploy a team of U.S. immigration officials to Panama to help local authorities screen and deport migrants traveling through the Central American country, which is a key transit point for those hoping to reach America's southern border, two U.S. officials with knowledge of the plans told CBS News.
The Department of Homeland Security has identified a team of officials with experience screening asylum-seekers and deporting migrants that will be dispatched to Panama once a final agreement is reached with that country's government, which asked for the assistance, the U.S. government officials said, requesting anonymity in order to discuss internal plans.
The objective is to have personnel from various DHS agencies, including U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and Immigration and Customs Enforcement train and assist Panamanian authorities as they grapple with an extraordinary flow of migrants into the Darién Gap, a rugged jungle that connects Panama with South America.
Nearly 500,000 migrants, half of them women and children, have crossed the once-impenetrable Darién jungle on foot this year, a record and once-unthinkable number, according to Panamanian government data. The vast majority of migrants have come from Venezuela, which has seen millions of its citizens flee in recent years to escape a widespread economic crisis and authoritarian rule.
Read more: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/biden-immigration-officials-panama-migrant-screening-darien-gap/
Maybe put the screening and deportation BEFORE the Gap?
that Columbia, which is the southern end of the Darien Gap isn't as eager to cooperate with the effort as Panama is.
Lots of Venezuelans already in Colombia - make sense they'd prefer them in Panama, but it's a really tough hike and dangerous. It's got to be tearing up the landscape, too.