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Biden admin to fund deportation of illegal aliens who enter Panama in agreement to close Darién Gap
Photo by LUIS ACOSTA/AFP via Getty Images

Biden admin to fund deportation of illegal aliens who enter Panama in agreement to close Darién Gap

DHS will send American immigration officials, asylum officers to Panama.

The Biden administration’s Department of Homeland Security recently announced an agreement with the Panamanian government to help shut down the Darién Gap, a path used by illegal aliens traveling north to the United States. In 2023, more than 520,000 individuals traveled the route.

In a July 1 press release, the DHS outlined the “new U.S. Department of State-funded foreign assistance program to address irregular migration in the region.”

“This program will help the Panamanian government to remove foreign nationals who do not have a legal basis to remain in Panama. This assistance seeks to reduce unprecedented irregular migration through the Darien region, through which over 520,000 migrants transited in 2023,” the press release read.

As part of the new agreement, the Biden administration will use taxpayer funds to pay for flights to transport individuals who illegally enter Panama back to their country of origin.

A CBS News report explained that the federal government plans to send a team of American immigration officials and asylum officers to Panama to help their local officials with screening illegal immigrants and assist with deportation efforts. The outlet noted that the U.S. officials will not directly be involved in the deportation of illegal aliens from Panama, but they will provide training.

“The new arrangement between the United States and Panama advances collaboration on migration management, including support for safe and effective Panamanian repatriation operations that include protection screening. The removal flight program is part of the comprehensive regional approach to address irregular migration. Due to the unique mission set, DHS will support training and capacity building to strengthen and institutionalize safe, humane repatriation processes in Panama,” the DHS’ press release stated.

José Raúl Mulino, sworn in as Panama’s president on Monday, said he is committed to cracking down on illegal immigration.

“I won’t allow Panama to be an open path for thousands of people who enter our country illegally, supported by an international organization related to drug trafficking and human trafficking,” Mulino said. “I understand that there are deep-rooted reasons for migration, but each country has to resolve its problems.”

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection has long since reported a strain on its resources amid the uptick in illegal immigration.

CBP’s acting commissioner Troy A. Miller stated in December, “The encounter levels we are currently seeing across the southwest border are presenting a serious challenge to the men and women of CBP.”

Former Border Patrol Chief Rodney Scott told the New York Post that the Biden administration should have implemented the agreement with Panama long ago. He called the area a “natural choke point where law enforcement can interdict criminal activity with far fewer resources.”

“But before we give this administration too much credit, let’s not forget just a few months they were intentionally making it easier for migrants to get through the Darien gap and get to the United States,” Scott said. “So why the change of heart all of a sudden, one may ask? Maybe it’s because it’s an election year.”

Former Yuma Sector Border Patrol Chief Chris Clem told the Post, “Why are we only doing this now, when millions have entered illegally into the US under this administration?”

“I wish the President would work on the physical security of the border in addition to these arrangements to protect border communities and the American public,” Clem added.

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Candace Hathaway

Candace Hathaway

Candace Hathaway is a staff writer for Blaze News.
@candace_phx →