Ahead of his first visit to the border with Mexico, US President Joe Biden on Thursday announced measures to stem the mass influx of migrants. His motto was “Don’t come to the border. Stay where you are and apply legally.”
The US government wants to bring 30,000 legal immigrants from Venezuela, Cuba, Haiti and Nicaragua to the US every month. They must pass a security check and have a financial sponsor on US soil. If their online application is accepted, they can fly to the United States, where they can live and work legally for two years.
At the same time, the government wants to speed up the deportation of immigrants from these four countries who illegally cross the Mexico-US border through the so-called Title 42 program. The policy, introduced under President Donald Trump, allows authorities to automatically deport illegal immigrants. The program would normally have come down in December, but the Supreme Court upheld it.
With these measures, according to government officials, Washington wants to build on the success of the program for Venezuelans. In October, the United States decided to accept 24,000 Venezuelans. In exchange, Mexico for the first time agreed to take back the Venezuelans under Title 42 as well. This has since led to a significant drop in the number of Venezuelans arriving in the border area. Mexico is willing to extend this agreement to immigrants from Cuba, Haiti and Nicaragua and wants to take back up to 30,000 people per month.
Biden has vowed to fix the “broken” immigration system in a “safe” and “humane” way. However, this also required parliament to enact new laws. The president himself understands that his new measures “will not reform the entire immigration system.” “They can better help us meet this difficult challenge,” Biden said.
Biden will visit the Texas border city of El Paso on Sunday. This is the first time he has visited the border area since taking office. His administration is under intense political pressure to deal with the large numbers of immigrants trying to enter the United States illegally across the border with Mexico. In December, an average of 8,000 people per day arrived at the southern border of the United States.
Next, Biden will head to Mexico, where he will meet with President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador early next week. According to the US president, “strengthening the borders” between the two countries will be one of the most important topics.
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