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Biden Announces New Program Responding to Illegal Migration

In an address on the southern border crisis, President Biden on Thursday unveiled a new policy that will accept 30,000 migrants a month from four nations but also will crack down on those who fail to use the plan’s legal pathways, reports Associated Press. The president said the policy will grant humanitarian “parole” to eligible migrants from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela. It will work as part of a border strategy that incorporates an expanded use of Title 42 expulsions. “Do not just show up at the border. Stay where you are and apply legally from there,” Biden said, addressing potential migrants from those nations. “Starting today, if you don’t apply through the legal process you will not be eligible for this new parole program.” The Departments of Homeland Security and Justice released details of a plan to impose a new regulation — a version of a Trump-era policy often called the “transit ban.” Under the new rule, migrants would be prohibited from applying for asylum in the U.S. unless they were first turned away for safe harbor by another country. It would also deem ineligible migrants who don’t go through authorized ports of entry. Biden said the new plan “won’t fix our entire immigration system but ... can help us a good deal in better managing what is a difficult challenge.” He added, “Until Congress passes the funds, a comprehensive immigration plan to fix the system completely, my administration is going to work to make things at the border better using the tools that we have.”

The humanitarian parole program builds on one rolled out solely for Venezuelans this fall, which created a narrow pathway for up to 24,000 migrants who have preexisting ties in the U.S., and people who could provide financial and other support. Implementation of the program, which deals with countries facing political and economic turmoil, is dependent on the use of the Title 42 authority to turn away those at the U.S.-Mexico border who don’t qualify. Border agents have already turned away masses of Venezuelans using Title 42 authority. Now they will do the same for Cubans, Haitians, and Nicaraguans. Mexico has agreed to accept 30,000 migrants per month from the four countries. Migrants who cross unlawfully into Panama or Mexico will be also deemed ineligible for the program, in an attempt to discourage people from taking the dangerous journey through the Darien Gap. Alongside additional legal pathways and deterrence, the administration is continuing its preparation for the end of Title 42 limits. The administration is working to counter cartels and human smuggling networks while surging resources like personnel, transportation, medical support, and facilities to support border officials. Border cities and other jurisdictions receiving a large number of migrants will also receive additional funding and support, Biden said.


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