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US launches operation targeting migrant-smuggling gangs

US launches operation targeting migrant-smuggling gangs

Washington, Apr 28 (Prensa Latina) The Joe Biden administration has launched a multi-agency operation targeting human smuggling organizations, part of its ongoing response to a recent influx in migrants arriving at the US-Mexico border.
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¨Operation Sentinel,¨ a joint mission by the departments of Homeland Security (DHS), State and Justice, will target criminal gang members, aiming to disable transnational criminal groups by cutting off their sources of funding and making it more difficult for them to travel, DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said.

Alejandro Mayorkas outlined plans Tuesday to curb human smuggling operations by revoking travel documents, suspending trade agencies and freezing bank accounts and financial assets tied to criminal networks.

On the other hand, Custom and Border protection (CBP) Acting Commissioner Troy Miller stated that human smuggling organizations are accountable for sexual assaults and abandonment of minors, among other dangerous behaviors.

The operation was announced as the Joe Biden administration faces a large influx of immigrants on the US-Mexico border including a record number of nearly 19,000 unaccompanied minors who arrived at the border in March.

During his campaign as presidential candidate, Joe Biden vowed to reverse many measures applied in this area by his predecessor, Republican Donald Trump (2009-2017) who sought to reduce the arrival of migrants to the country.

Former President Donald Trump imposed severe restrictions to enter the United States, separated minors and parents, obstructed asylum granting, and promoted the construction of a wall on the border with Mexico, among other criticized actions. Since he came to power on January 20, Joe Biden dismantled some of Trump’s policies, although local media warned his administration is overwhelmed by the massive arrival of people at the border.

According to updates, the US Border Patrol (USBP) intercepted as many as 172,331 migrants at the southern border in March, a 70.6% increase compared to the number in February.

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