Ukraine Plans Border Barrier Against Russia & Belarus

by H. Haverstock, The Chicago Times

November 19, 2021

Denys Monastirsky

KIEV — Ukraine plans to invest millions of dollars to fortify its eastern borders in order to prevent potential unlawful crossings and safeguard the country from alleged Russian aggression, according to Denys Monastirsky, Ukraine’s Minister of Internal Affairs.

Monastirsky, speaking to parliamentarians on Friday, recommended that $640 million be earmarked for engineering equipment on the borders with Russia and Belarus, which ranges  1,226 and 673.5 miles respectively.

According to the official, Kiev’s new demarcation line will consist of a complex of barbed wire barricades and fences, alarm systems, unmanned aerial vehicles, and 24-hour surveillance.

Many in the Ukrainian parliament have called imposing a state of emergency in border areas or regions if  similar to  what Poland and Lithuania have implemented to heed the uncontrollable influx of illegal migrants.

The current migrant crisis on the EU’s eastern frontiers has worsened in the previous two weeks, with thousands of desperate people, mostly from Iraq, Iran, and Syria, attempting to enter Poland and Lithuania via Belarus.

Moscow has frequently stated that it is not involved in the deteriorating humanitarian situation, despite accusations from Western politicians and commentators that Belarus and Russia are waging “Hybrid warfare.”

Poland Defends Border From Illegal Migrants Overwhelming The Nation

by H. Haverstock, The Chicago Times

October 14, 2021

WARSAW — On Thursday, Poland’s parliament enacted legislation that human rights experts believe attempts to legalize pushbacks of migrants across its borders, in violation of the country’s international legal obligations.

Poland, Lithuania, and Latvia have reported significant surges in migrants from Afghanistan and Iraq attempting to cross their borders from Belarus, in what Warsaw and Brussels describe as a type of hybrid warfare meant to put pressure on the EU over sanctions placed on Minsk.

Border guards are following government procedures that were revised in August and are now inscribed into law. To take effect, the legislation must now be signed by President Andrzej Duda, a supporter of the ruling nationalists.

The revisions include a mechanism that allows a person caught illegally crossing the border to be compelled to leave Polish territory based on a decision made by the local Border Guard head.  The order may be challenged to the Border Guard commander, but this does not prevent it from being carried out.  Furthermore, the bill empowers the chief of the Office of Foreigners to deny an application for international protection made by a foreigner who is apprehended immediately after illegally crossing the border.

Migrants have the right to seek asylum under international law, and it is illegal to return potential asylum seekers to countries where their lives or well-being may be jeopardized.

According to the EU’s home affairs commissioner, EU members must secure the bloc’s external borders while simultaneously upholding the rule of law and fundamental rights.

Panama Warns Biden Administration: 85,000 Haitian Migrants On Their Way To U.S.

by Bernard P. Lawson, The Chicago Times

September 30, 2021

Erika Mouynes – Foreign Minister, Panama

PANAMA CITY — Nearly 30,000 Haitian migrants have already crossed the US-Mexico border in recent weeks, but Panama’s foreign minister says far more are on their way.

In a new interview with Axios, Foreign Minister Erika Mouynes stated that more than 85,000 Haitians have crossed through Panama since the beginning of 2021, and that she believes “they all are heading toward the U.S. . . . 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,'” Mouynes told the Axios.

The Haitians have been arriving from Colombia, passing through the dangerous Darién Gap jungles into Panama before continuing north through Central America and Mexico to the United States.  Mouynes stated that senior officials from South American countries, Mexico, Canada, and the United States met in August to discuss the issue, and she found it “shocking” that this had not happened sooner.

Earlier this week, Mouynes said she met with members of Congress as well as DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.

Mouynes told Axios that she wants to see more meetings between the United States and other countries to work out plans to better control the volume of people crossing their borders.

She stated that in order to get to the bottom of the problem, Haiti must be involved as well.

On Sunday, Mayorkas told admitted that the majority of migrants who had entered the U.S. had been released.  Mayorkas said that up to 12,000 had been released until their “court date”, with 3,000 still in detention and 5,000 still waiting for their cases to be “processed”.  

There seems to be no end to the southern border crisis as wave upon wave of migrants enter the United States illegally.  Many on both sides of the aisle in Congress have concerns about the dangers of terrorist being able to cross the border without detection.

Bernard P. Lawson, National Political Reporter/Columnist for The Chicago Times.  Views and comments expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect the official position of The Chicago Times.

NEARLY 1,000 UNACCOMPANIED MIGRANT KIDS FOUND ON THE SOUTHERN BORDER IN A SINGLE DAY WITH NO END IN SIGHT

by The Chicago Times Staff

August 5, 2021

TEXAS – Nearly 1,000 unaccompanied migrant children were apprehended in a single day this week, as the numbers of migrants coming to the southern border continue to surge with no sign of slowing down despite the heat of the summer months.

The Department of Health and Human Services reported that 834 unaccompanied minors and teenagers were apprehended on Thursday, far exceeding the 30-day average of 512.  It means that there are a total of 2,784 children in CBP custody and 14,523 in HHS custody.

The figures reflect a continuing surge at the southern border and indicate that the border crisis that has plagued the Biden administration is unlikely to be resolved anytime soon.

In June, over 188,000 migrants were encountered, with an increase in UACs and migrant family units.  This compares to approximately 78,000 encounters when President Biden took office in January, and approximately 33,000 encounters in June 2020.  The number of unaccompanied minors encountered increased by 8% in June, with 15,253 encounters compared to 14,137 in May.

Republicans have blamed the surge on the Biden administration’s rollback of key Trump-era policies, specifically its refusal to apply Title 42 to UACs, as well as the rollback of the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), the end of border wall construction, and significantly reduced interior enforcement.  They have warned not only about criminals entering the country, but also about the potential spread of COVID-19.

135 ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS TEST POSITIVE FOR COVID-19 AT RIO GRANDE VALLEY BORDER

by The Chicago Times Staff

July 20, 2021

RIO GRANDE VALLEY — In the first two weeks of July, 135 detainees at the Rio Grande Valley crossing point tested positive for COVID-19, according to Customs and Border Protection.

The cases in the Rio Grande Valley sector detention facilities now account for 60% of all detainees confirmed to have COVID-19 and under CBP’s care.  The RGV sector, one of the busiest sections of the border with thousands of people crossing every day, comes as the Biden administration deals with an escalating crisis at the southern border.  One CBP unnamed source said “. . . thousands are entering and there appears to be no end.  We are completely overwhelmed.”

The nearly 190,000 noncitizens encountered by law enforcement in June is the highest number recorded in more than 21 years.    Last month, Border Patrol counted 113,000 adults, 15,000 unaccompanied minors, and 50,000 people traveling as part of a family group.

Since March 2020, the number of new border crossings has increased month after month as Biden began rolling back some Trump-era border restrictions put in place last year to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the United States.

Detainees are not typically tested at the southern border by border officials.  Detainees are instead tested after being transferred to other locations, such as government-run facilities.

Unaccompanied migrant children, for example, are placed in the care of the Office of Refugee Resettlement, which is part of the Department of Health and Human Services.

Vaccination rates in the Central American countries from which the majority of migrants come are significantly lower than in the United States, raising concerns that an influx of unvaccinated people at the southern border could exacerbate the spread of the highly transmissible delta variant, which is now responsible for approximately 83 percent of active cases in the US.  There have also been increased cases of polio and other diseases once thought irradicated.