Faced with pressure on border crossings, Biden steps up deportations of migrants

WASHINGTON: The United States will expand Trump-era restrictions to quickly deport Cuban, Nicaraguan and Haitian migrants caught illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexico border, President Joe Biden said Thursday in his first major speech on border security.
At the same time, the United States will allow up to 30,000 people from those three countries plus Venezuela to enter the country by air each month, Biden said.
The two-pronged approach is designed to blunt criticism from Republicans who have attacked Biden as record numbers of migrants cross the US-Mexico border while placating Democrats and immigration advocates who say restrictions on the “Title 42” passed under former President Donald Trump blocks migrants from exercising their right to seek asylum.
“This new process is orderly, safe and humane,” Biden said in a White House speech. He said his message to potential migrants from Cuba, Nicaragua or Haiti without an American sponsor is: “Don’t just show up at the border.”
In November, US border officials encountered 82,000 migrants from these countries and Venezuela attempting to enter the border without permission with Mexicoaccording to US government data.
The plan is part of a broader effort to deter record numbers of border crossings and address the political and humanitarian challenge of mass migration that has dogged the Democratic president since taking office in 2021, as well as his predecessors of both parties.
“These actions alone aren’t going to fix our entire immigration system,” Biden said, but they could “help a lot.”
Democratic lawmakers, including Sen. Bob Menendez, have criticized the expansion of those policies, which he called on Thursday “a disastrous and inhumane relic of the Trump administration’s racist racism.” immigration program.”
Republicans have criticized Biden for what they describe as lax border enforcement and have rejected the president’s proposals for immigration reform and related funding in Congress.
Biden defended the role immigrants play and affirmed the United States’ responsibility to accept persecuted people from around the world.
The US government can use existing resources to deport migrants and process asylum seekers, but US officials say the system will be slowed down until Congress approves funds for more resources.
“We don’t have enough immigration judges to adjudicate applications,” Biden said.
Biden will travel to El Paso, Texas on Sunday, his first trip to the border with Mexico since taking office.
El Paso, a Democratic stronghold with a history of welcoming immigrants, has struggled in recent months to cope with tens of thousands of migrants crossing the border from Mexico.
The immigration discussion should be a priority when Biden travels to Mexico City for a summit next Tuesday with Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
In response to Biden’s actions, the Mexican government said Washington had “responded positively” to Mexico’s demands to expand labor and humanitarian opportunities for migrants in the region. Mexico said the US plan would also expand refugee resettlement policies.
The cap of 30,000 people per month provides a “significant alternative to irregular migratory flows that can carry significant security risks for migrants and refugees,” the Mexican government said in a statement.
If humanitarian access requests are met, for a total of 360,000 people in 2023, it would represent the largest increase in U.S. work opportunities for migrants in recent years, he said.
According to the plan announced Thursday, Mexico will accept up to 30,000 deported migrants per month from Cuba, Nicaragua, Haiti and Venezuela. Migrants who cannot be deported to Mexico will increasingly be subject to a rapid deportation process called “accelerated deportation”, a senior official said.
Reuters reported last week that the Biden administration plans to implement the new curbs and entry program.
The policy change follows a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in late December that pandemic-era restrictions, known as Title 42, must remain in place for what could be months as a legal battle is going on.
The Biden administration intends to propose a settlement that would restrict access to asylum at the border if migrants do not follow the new procedures or if they cross another country en route to the United States without there. seek protection, US Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said. a press conference.
Similar limits on access to asylum during the Trump years have been met with opposition from advocates and have been blocked in federal courts.
Mayorkas said Biden’s restrictions would be different because migrants could apply to enter the United States through new legal channels, bringing “order and security” to the asylum process.


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