The Biden Administration and Mexico are teaming up to tackle the illegal immigration crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border.
On Tuesday, Homeland Security adviser Liz Sherwood–Randall met with Mexico President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador and other top officials to discuss a five–point plan meant to deter illegal border crossings while also introducing several new pathways for migrants.
Under the agreement, Mexico will continue to accept migrants from Venezuela, Haiti, Cuba, and Nicaragua who are turned away at the border. Additionally, up to 100,000 individuals from Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador who have family in the U.S. will be eligible to live and work there.
The move comes ahead of an expected surge of migrants after the U.S. ends its COVID–19 restrictions on May 11. Despite the restrictions, the nation has already seen record numbers of people crossing the border illegally. In response, the Biden Administration has taken numerous steps to punish those who cross illegally and create alternatives to the dangerous journey.
Mexico’s support is especially crucial, as migrants from nations as far away as Haiti are making the trek through the country. This has prompted the administration to deploy 1,500 active–duty troops to the border for administrative support, in addition to the 2,500 National Guard members already there.
The U.S. will continue to turn away Cubans, Haitians, Nicaraguans, and Venezuelans who cross illegally. Mexico said it will accept up to 30,000 migrants per month from the four countries. Meanwhile, the U.S. will accept 30,000 people per month from the four nations for two years and offer them the ability to legally work.
The U.S. is also taking steps to quickly screen migrants seeking asylum at the border, rapidly deport those deemed ineligible, and penalize people who cross illegally or illegally pass through another country on their way to the U.S. border.
The effort to clamp down on illegal immigration is likely to face criticism from both sides. Republicans are likely to accuse the Biden Administration of not doing enough, while Democrats will likely be wary of the administration‘s militarization of the border.
Meanwhile, Congress has yet to take any major action on immigration–related matters. The Biden Administration is no doubt hoping that its comprehensive approach to the issue will be enough to deter those considering crossing the border illegally, while also providing a pathway for those who qualify.