What could become the largest migrant caravan ever to approach the U.S. southern border had formed in Mexico and was expected to begin heading north Monday.
About 11,000 migrants gathered in Tapachula, a city on the Mexico-Guatemala border, with the intention of marching toward the U.S., The Guardian reported.
The caravan's numbers were expected to grow in the coming days, and could reach 15,000 people, The Guardian said.
News of the caravan came as the migrant surge under President Joe Biden continued to skyrocket.
More than 234,000 migrants were intercepted at the southern border in April, breaking the previous month's 22-year high of 221,000, according to NBC News.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection statistics show that 73,994 encounters occurred in December 2020, former President Donald Trump’s last full month in office.
Chris Chmielenski, vice president of NumbersUSA, told Newsmax that the No. 1 priority for Biden and lawmakers should be reinstating the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), known as "remain in Mexico," that was in place under Trump.
MPP resulted in migrants who arrived at the southern border being sent back to Mexico while their immigration proceedings played out.
"[MPP] had the single largest effect when Trump was dealing with a migrant surge similar to what we’re seeing today but not nearly at the numerical levels we’re seeing today," Chmielenski told Newsmax.
"Most of the them are claiming asylum but most of them don’t qualify for asylum under U.S. law. But once they cross the border and claim asylum, they get to stay here. And in many cases, they get a work permit and they get assistance from these non-governmental organizations that are helping the government relocate them."
Realistically, Chmielenski understands that current immigration policy won’t change until Republicans regain control of Congress.
"We do need legislative changes, so my hope is if Republicans are able to take control of both the House and the Senate this fall, they can pass some legislation that’s going to close the loophole that these illegal migrants are taking advantage of," he told Newsmax.
Chmielenski said NumbersUSA, which he said was the country’s largest grass-roots immigration reform organization, was fighting for immigration policies to reduce overall immigration policies, legal and illegal.
"What we would like to see is our immigration policy return to pre-1990 level," Chmielenski said. ”Even better would be the numerical levels that we had in the 1940s and ’50s.
"We believe the high immigration levels puts a threat on both American workers and their wages because, we believe, a loose labor market results in lower wages and increased job competition for American workers, so it’s harder for them to fight for increased wages as well as putting a strain on our sustainability and our natural resources."
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