Migrant caravan member cites Biden’s pledge to suspend deportations for 100 days as reason for traveling to US

Biden promised pathway to legal permanent residency for those here illegally

A migrant traveling with a caravan that left Honduras on Friday told a reporter he was headed to the U.S. because soon-to-be President Joe Biden is "giving us 100 days to get to the U.S."

The migrant, seen in an interview shared by The Hill, did not provide his name but said he was from Roatán, a tourist island off the northern coast of Honduras.

He appeared to be citing Biden’s pledge to place a 100-day moratorium on deportations – one of several items on his agenda that will reverse some of President Donald Trump’s signature policies.

The migrant told a reporter he was fleeing a "bad situation" that was made worse by the coronavirus pandemic, hurricanes, and a president who is not helping the people.

When asked what he wanted for "his people," the migrant said it was "to get to the U.S. because they’re having a new president."

"He’s gonna help all of us," the migrant said of President-elect Joe Biden. "He’s giving us 100 days to get to the U.S." to get legal status and "get a better life for our kids and family."

Biden has promised a pathway to legal permanent residency for those in the country illegally and a suspension on deportations by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).  

Honduran migrants, top, stand between cargo trucks as they confront Guatemalan soldiers and police blocking them from advancing toward the US, on the highway in Vado Hondo, Guatemala, Monday, Jan. 18, 2021.

Honduran migrants, top, stand between cargo trucks as they confront Guatemalan soldiers and police blocking them from advancing toward the US, on the highway in Vado Hondo, Guatemala, Monday, Jan. 18, 2021. (AP)

But any migrants who arrive at the U.S. border within the first 100 days of the new Biden administration will likely be disappointed. On Sunday, an unnamed Biden transition official said the migrants hoping to claim asylum in the U.S. during the first few weeks of the administration "need to understand they’re not going to be able to come into the U.S. immediately," NBC News reported

The Biden transition official told NBC News that while "there’s help on the way," now "is not the time to make the journey."

"I said if Biden became president, this would happen," Thomas Homan, former acting director of ICE, told Fox News. "The things he said, the promises that he made … like ending the remain in Mexico program, and getting rid of private detention, putting a moratorium on deportations, stopping ICE from doing worksite enforcement operations, offering free healthcare. When you throw those kinds of enticements out, who’s not going to come to the greatest country on Earth?" 

"I briefed the White House numerous times on what’s causing the surges. So, he knew by throwing all those promises out, to cater to the left to win an election, he put his own political ambitions ahead of the country."

Asked what he thought about the Biden transition official telling migrants that now is not the best time to come to the U.S., Homan said: "Too little, too late."

"They’re already on their way. They’re not going to wait in Mexico. They’re going to try to come across the border," Homan said. "Sooner or later, even if they do gather up in Mexico city, (Biden) is going to open the flood gates."

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Pueblo Sin Fronteras, a migrant rights group, issued a statement on behalf of the caravan, saying it expects the Biden administration to take action.

The group is expected to hold a virtual press conference in Tijuana Tuesday afternoon, where they will call on the incoming administration to reverse President Trump’s policies and immediately allow asylum seekers to continue the asylum process in the U.S.

In a statement released Monday, the group assailed Trump’s "Remain in Mexico" policy, which compels migrants seeking asylum in the U.S. to wait in Mexico while their case is being reviewed.

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Pueblo Sin Fronteras said at Tuesday’s press conference it will release a petition for the Biden administration. Items on the list include a demand the U.S. border be open to people who are seeking asylum, the elimination of the Remain in Mexico policy, an end to the separation of migrant families, and the "guarantee" of legal representation for asylum seekers.

Fox News' Yael Halon contributed to this report.