Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to Axios Closer for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Nashville news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Nashville newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Columbus news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Columbus newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Dallas news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Dallas newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios NW Arkansas

Stay up-to-date on the most important and interesting stories affecting NW Arkansas, authored by local reporters

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Erika Mouynes. Photo: Alejandro Martinez Velez/Europa Press via Getty Images

Panama foreign minister Erika Mouynes expressed frustration to Axios that the Biden administration seemed caught off guard by the Haitian migrant crisis because "we sounded the alarm when we should have."

Why it matters: The worst may still be coming. Mouynes said there are as many as 60,000 migrants — mostly Haitian — poised to make their way north to the U.S.-Mexico border.

  • Panama is expecting more migrants to cross through the dangerous jungles of the Darién Gap this month than in all of 2019 — nearly 27,000, according to Panamanian government estimates provided to Axios.
  • Mouynes is calling on the U.S. to help enforce a plan coordinated with countries in the region, saying, ultimately, "Let's recognize that they all are heading toward the U.S."
  • The foreign minister wrapped up meetings Monday and Tuesday in Washington with Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and members of Congress, among others.

Mouynes expressed her exasperation to Axios after spending months warning leaders across the hemisphere of the impeding Haitian wave.

  • "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,'" Mouynes said.
  • A Homeland Security spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

By the numbers: More than 85,000 migrants have passed through Panama since January — most of them Haitians.

  • Roughly 20,000 to 25,000 Haitians have already made the trek to the U.S.-Mexico border, with most being allowed to enter the United States.
  • Beyond those already admitted or deported back to Haiti, another 60,000 are most likely still on their way north, the minister said.

The big picture: Panama is often the first country to provide medical help, food and shelter to northbound migrants — despite their travels through multiple South American countries like Colombia and Peru.

  • "When we receive them on the Panamanian side, they're malnourished. The children are in terrible condition, so even getting them up to a healthy state takes time," the minister said.

Panama and its neighbors are already working on solutions.

  • In August, top immigration officials and attorneys general from South American governments, Mexico, Canada and the U.S. met to discuss the issue of irregular migration.
  • It was the first time such a high-level discussion had occurred, which was "shocking" to Mouynes.
  • In task force meetings that month, Latin American officials developed a plan to prevent charter planes from landing in countries with migrants and to impose quotas at borders to maintain manageable numbers of migrants in transit countries.
  • "If you can control migration, you can support it," Mouynes said.

Panama has a quota system with Costa Rica and has started one with Colombia. It "needs to turn back toward their other neighbors — to Peru, to Brazil" — to set up similar systems.

  • Colombia is currently holding back 30,000 migrants who want to cross into Panama and has become "frustrated" Panama can not take more in, the minister said.

What they're saying: "We all have a role to play in this issue, and the regional approach is the correct approach," Mouynes said. "It is impossible for Panama to solve it on its own."

  • She wants Mayorkas or a similar very high level official to attend a follow-up meeting with cabinet-level leaders from the region — to show commitment and pressure nations to follow through on migration plans.
  • There needs to be better engagement with Haiti, as well, rather than pretending the situation will solve on its own, Mouynes said.

What to watch: Pro-migration messaging from the U.S. and some South American nations has played a role in the uptick in people moving north.

  • It's unclear whether the Biden administration's recent emphasis on deportations of thousands of Haitians, and Mayorkas' own warnings about not being admitted to the United States, will change anything.
  • Mouynes said Mayorkas asked for her assessment of that messaging during their meeting this week.

Go deeper

Updated Oct 13, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Biden lifting land border travel restrictions for fully vaccinated

Photo: Yuri Gripas/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Biden administration will open up U.S. land borders with Canada and Mexico to non-essential travel starting in November — but only to those fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Why it matters: Government officials and business leaders have decried the economic impact pandemic travel restrictions have had on border communities. They have called for the U.S. to reopen the borders given high, and rising, vaccinations rates there.

Biden: "Being a cop today is one hell of a lot harder than it's ever been"

President Biden speaks during the 40th Annual National Peace Officers Memorial Service at the U.S Capitolon Oct. 16. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden speaking at the U.S. Capitol on Saturday honored members of law enforcement who died in the line of duty in 2019 and 2021 and saluted those who are currently serving.

Driving the news: "We expect everything of you, and it's beyond the capacity of anyone to meet the total expectations. Being a cop today is one hell of a lot harder than it's ever been," Biden said.

Updated 4 hours ago - World

Islamic State claims responsibility for deadly bombing in southern Afghanistan

The mosque after the explosion in southern Kandahar province on Oct. 15. Photo: Murteza Khaliqi/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for a massive blast that tore through a crowded Shiite mosque in the southern Afghan city of Kandahar on Friday, killing at least 47 people and injuring dozens more, AP reports.

Why it matters: Friday's attack was the deadliest to strike Afghanistan since the U.S. withdrew its troops from the region and is the second major attack on a Shiite mosque in a week, underscoring the Taliban's growing security threat from other militant groups.

You’ve caught up. Now what?

Sign up for Mike Allen’s daily Axios AM and PM newsletters to get smarter, faster on the news that matters.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!