WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration said Thursday it will immediately begin turning back Cubans, Haitians and Nicaraguans who cross the U.S.-Mexico border illegally, a major expansion of an existing effort to prevent Venezuelans from attempting to enter the United States
Instead, the administration will accept 30,000 people a month from the four nations for two years and offer the option to work legally, as long as they come legally, have eligible sponsors and pass background checks and background checks. 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 massive change to immigration rules, and it will stand even if the U.S. Supreme Court strikes down a Trump-era public health law that allows U.S. authorities to refuse immigrants. asylum seekers.
The new policy could result in 360,000 people from these four countries entering the United States legally 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 growing numbers of migrants crossing the US-Mexico border and has been reluctant to take sweeping steps that resemble those of the Trump administration. This has led to a barrage of criticism from Republicans who say the Democratic president is ineffective when it comes to border security.
Biden was expected to address border changes in a speech later Thursday. He will 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 North American leaders on Monday.
Mexico has agreed to accept up to 30,000 migrants a month from the four countries trying to walk or swim across the US-Mexico border, according to the White House.
Under Trump, the United States has required asylum seekers to wait across the Mexican border. But massive delays in the immigration system created long delays, leading to 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.