As the Biden administration is expelling Haitian illegal immigrants back to their chaotic country, thousands of others are making their way to the U.S. border through treacherous jungles.
Newsmax citing Panamanian government sources, reported that up to 4,000 migrants, most of them Haitians, have passed through the jungles of the Darien Gap in Panama on the Colombian border to approach the U.S. border.
One source said that between 3,500 to 4,000 migrants pass through migration reception stations in Darien and Chiriqui, Panama. The group includes Cubans and other nationalities.
Meanwhile, some 16,000 migrants are stuck in Necocli town in north Colombia, awaiting transport to the Darien Gap, from which smugglers will guide them through one of the most dangerous and impassable regions of Latin America.
Colombia and Panama last month agreed that they can let 500 migrants cross per day, but local officials are urging them to raise the quota to keep pace with the up to 1,500 migrants who arrive in the town daily.
During the United Nations General Assembly on Thursday, Sept. 23, Panamanian President Laurentino Cortizo called for assistance from the International community. His country is spending its limited budget on migrant care. Cortizo revealed that more than 80,000 irregular migrants have traveled through Panama so far this year.
Data from the National Migration Service shows that 88,514 migrants have entered Panama through the Darien jungle from the beginning of this year. The country went from receiving an average of 800 migrants in January to 30,000 in August.
The new wave of Haitian migrants fleeing economic, political, and social chaos in their homeland further complicates the border crisis that the Biden administration must address.
On Friday, U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said that his department has already sent nearly 2,000 migrants back to Haiti on 17 flights. In addition, an estimated 8,000 migrants have returned to Mexico voluntarily.
Mayorkas said more than 12,400 migrants would have their cases heard by an immigration judge to decide whether they would be removed or permitted to remain in the United States.