President Joe Biden is sending U.S. immigration officials to Panama to screen and deport illegal migrants heading for the United States' southern border, CBS News reported Monday.
According to the news outlet, U.S. officials told CBS that the team will include individuals from the Department of Homeland Security that have experience screening asylum-seekers and deporting migrants which will be sent to the Central American nation once an agreement is reached with the government.
"[The] goal of the program is to provide technical assistance and other capacity-building so that they can basically create a more robust program to repatriate migrants who do not establish a legal basis to remain in Panama," the senior U.S. official told CBS News.
Once there, the representatives from the DHS agencies including Immigration services, Immigration, and Customs and Border Protection, will try and assist the Panamanians to deal with the influx of migrants into the Darien Gap jungle that connects Panama and South America, the report said.
An estimated 500,000 migrants, about half made up of women and children, have crossed through the dangerous terrain with most coming from Venezuela, the report said.
U.S. State Department funds would be diverted to pay for the initiative.
According to the CBP, more than 7 million illegal migrants have crossed into the United States in each fiscal year since 2021, with 309,221 entering the country to start fiscal year 2024 in October.
Since the onslaught of illegal immigration in 2021, even Democrat "sanctuary cities" are complaining about the numbers of illegal migrants flooding the cities.
"I tell Democrats, you have got to secure the border," West Virginia's Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin, the centrist who has not ruled out an independent bid for the White House, told the New York Post on Sunday. "I tell Republicans, if [migrants] had a worker visa permit that let them work and pay for their own keep and basically pay taxes, it would be a benefit while we are waiting to adjudicate them.
"I know in New York what's happening is you all are paying millions and millions of dollars trying to house and keep people off the streets. It just doesn't make any sense."
New York City Mayor Eric Adams estimates that caring for the migrants could cost the city $12 billion over three years.
"We've got Democrats and Republicans fighting over the minutia: Oh, it's inhumane to secure the border," Manchin said in the report. "Well, my goodness, you can't be the superpower of the world unless you secure the borders."
Charles Kim, a Newsmax general assignment writer, is an award-winning journalist with more than 30 years in reporting on news and politics.
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