HAVANA,5 Jan. Biden‘s administration said Thursday it would immediately begin turning back Cubans, Haitians, and Nicaraguans who cross the US-Mexico border illegally, in a major expansion of the initiative that already aims to prevent Venezuelans from attempting to enter the United States.
In return, the Biden administration will accept 30,000 people a month from these four countries, for two years, and offer them the opportunity to work legally as long as they arrive legally, are sponsored, and pass background checks and checks. antecedents.
These four affected countries are among those for which migrant border crossings have increased the most, with no easy way to quickly return migrants to their countries of origin.
This is a major change to immigration rules, and the measure will stand even if the U.S. Supreme Court repeals a Trump administration public health law that allows U.S. authorities to refuse asylum seekers.
The new policy could allow 360,000 people from these four countries to legally enter the United States in one year. But currently, many more people from these countries are trying to get to the United States on foot. Migrants from these four countries were arrested 82,286 times in November alone.
The Biden administration has struggled to manage a growing number of migrants crossing the US-Mexico border and has been reluctant to take sweeping steps akin to Donald Trump’s. This has led to a barrage of criticism from Republicans, who argue the Democratic president is ineffective when it comes to border security.
Mr. Biden was expected to address those changes in a speech later Thursday. He is due to travel to El Paso, Texas this weekend, his first trip to the southern border as president, ahead of a planned trip to Mexico City to meet with the other two North American leaders on Monday.
Mexico has agreed to take in up to 30,000 migrants per month from these four countries trying to walk or swim across the US-Mexico border, according to the White House.
More details on illegal migrant entries into the United States
Anyone coming to the United States is allowed to seek asylum, regardless of how they crossed the border. But the conditions for granting asylum are narrow and only around 30% of applications are accepted.
This has created a system in which migrants present themselves between ports of entry and are allowed to enter the United States to await the completion of their case.
But there is a backlog of two million cases in immigration courts, so cases often go unheard for years. Migrants seeking a better life in the United States often pay smugglers the equivalent of thousands of dollars to deliver them through the dangerous Darien Gap.
The only lasting way to change the system is through Congress, but a bipartisan effort in Congress on new immigration laws failed shortly before Republicans took a majority in the House.
Under the Trump administration, the United States required asylum seekers to wait across the Mexican border. But massive delays in the immigration system created long delays, which led to the establishment of fetid and dangerous camps across the border, where migrants were forced to wait.
This system ended under the Biden era and migrants who are returned now will not be eligible for asylum in the United States.