OnPolitics: No easy fix for Haitians at the border

·4 min read
Haitian migrants cross the Rio Grande into Del Rio, Texas from Ciudad Acuna on Sept. 18, 2021. Thousands of migrants have arrived in the border city and have camped underneath the Del Rio International Bridge on the U.S. side of the border.
Haitian migrants cross the Rio Grande into Del Rio, Texas from Ciudad Acuna on Sept. 18, 2021. Thousands of migrants have arrived in the border city and have camped underneath the Del Rio International Bridge on the U.S. side of the border.

Hello, OnPolitics readers!

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his Liberal Party secured victory in parliamentary elections on Monday.

Canada has one of the highest vaccination rates in the world, and Trudeau’s government spent hundreds of billions of dollars to prop up the economy amid lockdowns.

Trudeau's main message for the people: “You are sending us back to work with a clear mandate to get Canada through this pandemic,” Trudeau said. “I hear you when you say you just want to get back to the things you love and not worry about this pandemic or an election.”

Back here in the U.S., navigating the pandemic continues as Biden announced a new COVID vaccine mandate for federal workers last week.

Despite some claims online, this mandate does not cover vaccinations for Congress.

It's Amy and Mabinty, here with today's top news.

Both parties hit Biden on Haitian migrant surge at the border

Roughly 14,000 Haitian migrants are among those camped out under the bridge in Del Rio, Texas, awaiting a decision on whether they will be granted entry into the USA or turned away.

In his first months in office, President Joe Biden has faced a string of high-profile immigration issues, including record numbers of migrants at the border, as well as an increase in unaccompanied minor children this year.

The Biden administration's response to the most recent influx – including press secretary Jen Psaki calling images of Border Patrol agents on horses chasing Haitian migrants "horrific" – has drawn condemnation from both Republican hard-liners and Democratic allies.

Republican governors from 26 states sent a letter to the president Monday, complaining that Biden has left states to deal with a challenge that is the federal government’s job. They asked to meet with Biden within 15 days. The president has also been pressured by refugee and asylum advocates, as well as fellow Democrats, to do more.

No easy fix: The complexity of the issues at the border can make it difficult to build consensus on solutions, experts and activists said.

How did Haitian migrants end up in Texas? Many of those migrants, experts say, were likely already in Central America, as powerful natural disasters and an often-dysfunctional government prompted a steady flow of out-migration for more than a decade.

A devastating earthquake in 2010 earthquake displaced more than 1.5 million people from the island nation. Afterwards, many Haitians left their homeland for South and Central America.

But now, with economic opportunities drying up in Latin America as the pandemic continues, Haitian migrants are seeking asylum in the U.S.

Real quick: Stories you'll want to read

  • Not so good news for the president: Fewer than one third of Iowans approve of the job Joe Biden is doing as president, a steep drop from earlier this year.

  • The battle over voting rights: Text messages show a top Florida Republican's efforts to gain an electoral advantage through legislation creating new restrictions on voting.

  • More fallout from 2020 election: An attorney for former President Donald Trump outlined a six-point plan for overturning the 2020 presidential election results in a memo to then-Vice President Mike Pence.

  • The Afghanistan war aftermath: National security officials expressed deep concern for the potential reconstitution of al Qaida and a more potent ISIS-K terror group to launch attacks from Afghanistan following the chaotic exit of American military forces.

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Biden brings urgency around COVID-19, climate change to the UN

In his first speech before the United Nations General Assembly, President Biden declared that the U.S. is shifting from "relentless war" to "relentless diplomacy" as he urged foreign leaders to meet the greatest challenges facing the world: the coronavirus pandemic and climate change.

"We stand, in my view, at an inflection point in history," Biden said. "Instead of continuing to fight the wars of the past, we are fixing our eyes and devoting our resources to the challenges that hold the keys to our collective future."

The annual world summit comes as the Biden administration struggles to contain the fallout from a series of recent diplomatic blunders, including a chaotic and deadly evacuation effort in Afghanistan after the Taliban swept to power amid the U.S. military withdrawal last month.

Building back American credibility: Biden, a longstanding internationalist, will have to convince allies the U.S. is committed to returning to its leading role on crises like COVID-19 and climate change, even as he remains focused on more domestic priorities.

It's the last day of summer. Hello fall! — Amy and Mabinty

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Biden criticized for handling of Haitians at Texas border

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