WASHINGTON – President Biden on Thursday will announce new plans to allow up to 30,000 migrants from Cuba, Nicaragua, Venezuela and Haiti to enter the United States legally each month, while cracking down on those seeking refuge. refuge by crossing the border with Mexico. administrative official said.
The president is expected to announce the policies in a speech Thursday morning, days before a two-day summit meeting in Mexico City. The changes come as the Biden administration is under increasing pressure to deal with an increase at the southern border that is overwhelming communities, nonprofits and the government establishment.
The situation at the border has become increasingly a political dilemma for Mr. Biden as his opponents embrace immigration. House Republicans have promised to begin investigating the administration’s handling of the border issue and begin impeachment proceedings against Alejandro N. Mayorkas, the secretary of Homeland Security.
The new policies are an attempt by the administration to fulfill the president’s promise of a humane yet secure border. But they are far from completely revising the nation’s immigration laws, which Mr. Biden proposed to Congress on the day he took office. Officials said the president would extend the congressional call to action in his speech on Thursday.
Under the new immigration rules, administration officials said, people in the four countries will be allowed to apply for entry into the United States using an app on their phone while still in their home country. If they can find a sponsor — a relative, church, or nonprofit group — that passes security and pays for the flight, they will be allowed to legally live and work in the United States.
Immigrants from countries seeking to reach the United States via Mexico will automatically be ineligible for the new program.
Administration officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity during a briefing ahead of the president’s speech, said the program would greatly reduce the need for people from those countries to make the journey. danger from their own country and across the border with Mexico. Officials said an earlier program that only applied to Venezuelans had significantly reduced the number of migrants from that country at the border.
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But up to 9,000 migrants attempt to cross the southern border every day, officials said, and it remains unclear how many from the four countries will be able or willing to take advantage of the new program.
Administration officials said Biden would also triple the number of refugees the United States takes in each year from the Western Hemisphere, to 20,000. The refugee program is a unique way for people fleeing persecution to apply to come to the United States legally.
Mr. Biden will also announce an increased use of tougher enforcement at the border, which will allow agents to more quickly deport migrants trying to cross between border crossings, officials said. official said.
Immigrant rights advocates say the measures, known as expedited deportation, deny people their right to due process and are used as a way to prevent them from making asylum claims. legal harm, guaranteed by U.S. and international law.
The Biden administration is also weighing whether to adopt a restrictive policy developed under former President Donald J. Trump, under which migrants traveling through a third country, such as Mexico, can may be prevented from applying for asylum in the United States unless they have already applied. apply for asylum in another country first.
Advocates see the policy as another way to prevent access to asylum for those fleeing violence, political instability and economic disaster.
It was not clear if Mr. Biden intended to announce his use of that program in his speech. Mayorkas is expected to hold a press conference late Thursday to announce the new enforcement measures.
Officials said the new border policies would take effect immediately. The government is currently under a court order to quickly deport most migrants under Title 42, a public health rule introduced during the coronavirus pandemic.
But officials said they plan to continue with the new border policies if the courts allow an end to Title 42 enforcement, as the administration intends. The Supreme Court is considering a challenge by Republican-led states to the administration’s plan to stop Title 42 enforcement.