Hundreds of thousands of people are making their way to the United States via jungles that were once unpassable but have now transformed into migrant highways. New records were set in 2023 as more than 500,000 migrants from countries as varied as China and Haiti made their way through the Darien Jungle – situated between Colombia and Panama. While a path of sorts has opened up, it is still considered treacherous, and it can take three days to pass through.
Dana Graber Ladek from the United Nation’s International Organization for Migration said the number of immigrants arriving via the Darien Jungle is at levels never seen before. Moreover, record numbers are traveling to Europe on small boats, prompting some Western leaders to enact new legislation as public anti-immigration sentiment increases.
In Washington, Republicans are pressuring the White House to make a deal on immigration in return for their support for Ukraine aid. President Biden appears prepared to make concessions. “I am willing to make significant compromises on the border. We need to fix the broken border system. It is broken,” the President said.
Left-wing commentators and activists, however, have already reacted with fury to the President’s potential compromise. CNN has reported a groundswell of anger among Democrat activists who say they will not feel able to defend reduced immigration as they campaign on the President’s behalf next year.
Meanwhile, Texas Governor Greg Abbott has signed contentious legislation that will allow the Lone Star State to arrest and deport migrants – something that is usually a federal power. The law will take effect next March and is expected to be challenged in the courts, particularly since the US Supreme Court has already ruled that the power to deport immigrants is in the hands of the federal government only.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) said it will sue Governor Abbott over what it describes as the most anti-immigration legislation ever passed in a US state.