Panama Government Warns 60,000 Migrants About to Flood the U.S
Panama's foreign minister warns of border surge
Panama's foreign minister has warned the United States that 60,000 migrants are heading toward the US-Mexico border.
Erika Mouynes said the migrants, many of them of Haitian origin, are now making their way through Central America.
Mouynes told Axios her government has notified the White House about the recent migration surge, which left 15,000 people gathering under a bridge in Del Rio, Texas.
"We've engaged with every single authority that we can think of, that we can come across, to say, 'Please, let's pay attention to this,'" said Mouynes.
"We all have a role to play in this issue, and the regional approach is the correct approach," she said.
"It is impossible for Panama to solve it on its own."
Mouynes met with members of Congress as well as Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on Monday.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said Mouynes had described how her country has seen "over 80,000 Haitian immigrants, Haitian evacuees, crossing from South America, through Panama, headed to the United States [this year].
"This is all happening because Joe Biden and Kamala Harris refuse to enforce the law," Cruz added.
"And have essentially said anyone who wants to come to America, they're gonna resettle them, they're gonna give them benefits, they're gonna let 'em stay, and it's resulting in a public health crisis and a humanitarian crisis."
Axios reported that almost 27,000 migrants are expected to pass the jungles of the Darien Gap region, which is more than made the trip in 2019.
"Let's recognize that they all are heading toward the US," Mouynes said.
Following the devastating 2010 earthquake, most migrants left Haiti for economic opportunity in South America.
But as jobs dried up, they were now fleeing to the U.S.
Mouynes told Axios that Panama had begun a migrant quota system in partnership with its two immediate neighbors, Columbia and Costa Rica.
But she warned other South American countries would need to set up similar systems to manage such surges.
Earlier this week, Mayorkas admitted that approximately 12,000 Haitian migrants have now been released into the United States before adding the number "could be even higher."
During a broadcast of "Fox News Sunday," Anchor Chris Wallace said:
"I want to start with those 30,000 Haitian migrants who came across the border into Del Rio, Texas, since September 9th, as you say."
"You say that 12,400 will have their cases heard by an immigration judge, and another 5,000 are being processed by your department. Mr. Secretary, of those 17,400, how many have been released into the U.S. and how many more potentially could be released into the U.S.?"
"It could be even higher if the number that is returned could be even higher. What we do is we follow the law as Congress has passed it."