Panama’s foreign minister sounded the alarm to warn the United States once again of a wave of Haitians coming toward the U.S.-Mexico border.
Erika Mouynes warned in an interview with Axios Wednesday that there were roughly 60,000 migrants, most of whom are Haitians, making their way toward the U.S. southern border, a surge roughly four times as large as the number of migrants reported in Del Rio, Texas.
Mouynes expressed frustration with the U.S. government’s response to the Haitian migrant crisis at the border, explaining, “We sounded the alarm when we should have.”
“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,'” she added.
In the past month, Del Rio was overwhelmed with more than 15,000 Haitian migrants who had been living underneath an international bridge in a makeshift camp after crossing the Rio Grande, many of whom were seeking asylum.
The U.S. initially sent around 2,276 Haitians back to their home country. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas later admitted that more than 12,000 migrants had been released into the U.S. after previously stating that the migrant camp had been cleared out.
The Panamanian government called on the U.S. to work with other countries in the region to address the situation, saying that they need to “recognize that they all are heading towards the U.S.”
Panama is expecting around 27,000 migrants to cross the Darien Gap this month, more than in 2019, according to Public Radio International.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection encountered 208,887 people illegally crossing the border in August, four times more than the 50,014 people encountered in August 2020.