(USA Features) Panamanian Foreign Minister Erika Mouynes told a media outlet this week that she warned the Biden administration about the pending Haitian migrant crisis ahead of time, adding that her country “sounded the alarm when we should have.”
But it gets worse than that: She says there are tens of thousands more headed to the U.S.-Mexico border.
“Mouynes said there are as many as 60,000 migrants — mostly Haitian — poised to make their way north to the U.S.-Mexico border,” Axios reported.
“Panama is expecting more migrants to cross through the dangerous jungles of the Darién Gap this month than in all of 2019 — nearly 27,000,” the outlet continued.
“Let’s recognize that they all are heading toward the U.S.,” Mouynes said in calling on the Biden administration to implement better enforcement policies. Critics say that the current migrant crises are occurring because those that Biden has adopted are acting as magnets to 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,'” the foreign minister stated.
Axios noted further that Mouynes had several meetings with the Biden administration’s Department of Homeland Security this week.
“More than 85,000 migrants have passed through Panama since January — most of them Haitians,” Mouynes said.
“Roughly 20,000 to 25,000 Haitians have already made the trek to the U.S.-Mexico border, with most being allowed to enter the United States,” she added.
“We all have a role to play in this issue, and the regional approach is the correct approach,” Mouynes continued. “It is impossible for Panama to solve it on its own.”
In July, DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas warned Haitian migrants not to come to the U.S.
“Allow me to be clear: if you take to the sea, you will not come to the United States,” Mayorkas told a press conference.
“If individuals make, establish a well-founded fear of persecution or torture, they are referred to third countries for resettlement,” Mayorkas added. “They will not enter the United States.”
But earlier this month, about 15,000 Haitians gathered under a bridge in Del Rio, Texas, and reports said that DHS has released thousands into the country.
The administration was forced to respond to a crisis involving more than 10,000 Haitian migrants who crossed illegally from Mexico.
Following reports and video footage showing thousands of mostly Haitian migrants setting up a tent city and casually walking across a dam to enter the U.S., the Defense Department announced it would begin flying the migrants back to Haiti.