01:09 GMT +309 December 2019
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    Haitian migrants seeking asylum in the United States, queue at El Chaparral border crossing in the hope of getting an appointment with US migration authorities, in the Mexican border city of Tijuana, in Baja California, on October 7, 2016

    Past Administrations Contributed to US National Emergency - US Ex-official

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    Customs and Border Protection Assistant Commissioner for Public Affairs Andrew Meehan said during a press conference that the number of migrants crossing the US southern border has increased by nearly 31 per cent. According to data, the number of people crossing the border reached some 76,000 in February.

    Officials stated that more than 90 per cent of the new arrivals were from Guatemala, representing a significant change in the dynamics of migration into the US.

    The agency's Chief of Operations Brian Hastings said border agents were also seeing a growing trend of migrant groups of more than 100 arriving at the southwestern border.

    Radio Sputnik discussed this issue with Dan Cadman, a fellow at the Centre for Immigration Studies and a retired INS/ICE official with thirty years of government experience.

    Dan Cadman: It seems to me very clear that there is a double standard. It seems to me that the problem is that past administrations, both Democratic and Republican, had contributed to bring things to the stage that are at now. And those who claim that there is no emergency are simply putting on horse-blinders.

    Sputnik: In your view, can these recent numbers help President Trump's calls for tighter security?

    Dan Cadman: The nature of the crossings is significantly different. In past decades most of the apprehensions quite honestly were adult Mexican males; a lot of them were seasonal crossings. When they were apprehended they were easily removed, turned back across the border.

    And that is no longer the case. We now see huge numbers of vulnerable people — women and children — making the trek north. We even see instances of adult males bringing kids that are not their own, claiming that they are their own, using these kids as shields to evade prolonged detention so that they can be released into the community while they wait for years for their migration hearings to take place.

    And this is why it has become fundamentally a Gordian knot that the president is trying to cut through the declaration.

    Sputnik: The numbers being noted as one of the highest in February for the past 12 years. The key question is what is linked with them. I am sure the number of issues whether it is economic, or social, or quality of life for these people to take this hazardous course of action to go to live in obviously America where they just feel that their chance of better quality of life issues and a better chance of survival and making it in this world. There are obviously human rights issues here but as I have mentioned the huge numbers of people involved; just give us insights in the specifics because I am sure there are lots of different countries and their own challenges. And the question is why would the United States?.. And I am sure they are pumping money into these various countries. But surely now you have to take a new look at the consequences and how they can assist some of these countries to reinvest in their own people and the social situation within these countries to prevent these people from starting these hazardous journeys?

    Dan Cadman: Well, I don't disagree with that at all. The sad thing is that the United States has pumped in tens of billions of dollars into the countries already. And unfortunately, and this is my view, unfortunately, the controls on the provision of that money have resulted in misexpenditures and to some extent corruption, where the money doesn't end up where it is been given for.

    READ MORE: US, 3 Central American Nations to Sign First Ever Migration Compact — Nielsen

    And I think until something is done to really hold the leadership in those countries accountable, it is money down a rat hole.

    Sputnik: Just moving along to the next question. Earlier, a group of US officials signed a letter rejecting the president's national emergency declaration. In your view, how justified was the declaration?

    Dan Cadman: Unfortunately, some of those national security figures that you have spoken about, who have expressed their disapproval of the president's declaration, were vigorously anti-Trump and it made it clear.

    And [they] are the kind of people who have come declared that the sun was shining and you could look up and see that the sun was shining, simply because Trump said it they would say that can't possibly be true. And I think that that colours many people's view of them signing such a letter.

    Others of them, such as Janet Napolitano who was secretary of homeland security under President Obama, was the architect of Obama's Deferred Action programme which granted nearly a million people an administrative amnesty for which there was no legal basis.

    The views and opinions expressed by the speakers do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.


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