Record number of migrants crossing U.S. border
(KYMA, KECY/CNN) - The U.S. border crisis will be a top priority at the North American leaders' summit this week.
They know their dream is across the river, but all they can do is wait. Some sit on the Mexican side looking north.
The lucky ones have tents or find space in a shelter.
Many, like Venezuelan migrant Henri Salvador Pacheco, have traveled thousands of miles and vividly remember the dangers they faced in each country they traveled through.
He also says they were robbed and kidnapped.
It’s the story of thousands upon thousands of immigrants who continue traveling north, even if it means risking their lives.
The migrant crisis will be a top priority as U.S. President Joe Biden travels to Mexico to meet on Monday with his Mexican counterpart Andrés Manuel López Obrador and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Expanding a program
Biden announced Thursday he is expanding a program to accept up to 30,000 migrants per month from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua and Venezuela. This comes along with a plan to expel just as many citizens from those countries who try to cross the border illegally.
“Look, we should all recognize that, as long as America is the land of freedom and opportunity, people are going to try to come here. And that’s what many of our ancestors did and it’s no surprise that it’s happening again today. We can’t stop people from making the journey, but we can require that they come here in an orderly way under U.S. law," Biden said.
Immigration also remains a political hot potato in the United States.
“We take what’s happening at the southern border very seriously; unlike some and unlike the President of the United States, who has refused to lift a finger to secure that border," Florida Governor Ron DeSantis spoke.
Migrants continue to wait
Far from the political rhetoric, however, migrants continue to wait.
Some like Kevin Ortega, a migrant from Venezuela, say they have nothing to lose that they haven’t already lost.
“We left everything behind,” he says. “We don’t have a home...don’t have a place to stay. Everyone here made an effort to get to where we are now, and we have no way to go back.”
Nearly 2.4 million immigrants were apprehended as they tried to enter the U.S. Southern border in the fiscal year that ended in September, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
It also remains to be seen if these three heads of state can find any solution to stem the tide.