The Biden administration took additional measures during the North American Leaders Summit on Tuesday in a desperate bid to keep migrants from traveling. to the southern border of the United States.
Chart of most recent efforts a during an unprecedented move It is designed to limit border crossings while making legal migration programs more accessible in the Western Hemisphere and to the United States, Mexico and Canada, according to a senior administration official.
But the success of these measures depends on migrants considering these options appropriate, especially when they are urgently fleeing deteriorating conditions in their home countries.
During his presidency Joe Biden faced changing migration patterns creates unique challenges for administration and stretches federal and local resources. The issue has increasingly become a political vulnerability for the administration — prompting fierce criticism from Republicans and Democrats alike — and a point of contention with partners to the south, primarily Mexico.
After the summit, Biden thanked Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador for “stepping into Mexico to accept those who are not following the legal paths we have provided, instead of trying to cross the border between our two countries illegally.”
The president talked about his visit to the border and said the three leaders were working together “in a way that upholds our nation’s laws and protects the human rights of migrants in desperate situations.”
“We are true partners,” Biden said of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and López Obrador, adding that the three “work with mutual respect and love for each other to develop a safer and more prosperous future for all our people.”
“We cannot exclude ourselves from common problems. We are stronger and better when we work together. The three of us. And together, we have made tremendous progress since our last summit,” Biden said.
Administration officials leading Tuesday’s summit emphasized the need for a regional response that shares responsibility among hemispheric partners to stem the flow of migration. Tuesday’s announcement is the opposite.
The Biden administration has announced a virtual platform that will serve as a one-stop shop for migrants to find information about legal pathways to eligibility in the U.S., Mexico or Canada and the opening of a new resource center in southern Mexico. , – said a senior representative of the administration.
“The United States, Mexico and Canada will all commit to making it possible for migrants to enter our legal pathways through one platform,” a senior administration official told CNN.
The virtual portal is, in part, a recognition of the challenges migrants face when trying to identify legal pathways to come to the United States, and then the often difficult and arduous process of doing so. Instead, people often look to the north for smugglers who spread misinformation about US police — a route the Biden administration is trying to discourage migrants from taking.
“It’s an experiment,” said a senior administration official, referring to programs recently launched for some nationalities who want to come to the United States.
The portal is under development and is expected to come together in the next few months.
“We’re always in competition with smugglers, so we think it’s really important to have easy-to-access, user-friendly, virtual platforms… but then there are centers where people can go and they know they can trust the people there and get accurate information. can be cited based on information and even admissions and interviews,” the official added.
As part of that effort, the U.S. is also working with Mexico to open brick-and-mortar centers where migrants can get information on how to apply to immigrate to the U.S., mirroring a migrant resource center opened in Guatemala. A new center will be established in the southern Mexican city of Tapachula, where thousands of migrants pass through on their way to the US-Mexico border.
“We know this is a transit location, and so the center can help people stay where they are and apply from there,” a senior administration official said.
The announcement raises questions among immigration lawyers, who say its effectiveness is still unknown.
“It’s a big, huge open question,” said one immigration lawyer, adding that while such an online platform would be useful to thousands of asylum seekers, it could be “out of reach” for many.
The portal is still under construction and may not open for several months yet, so details are still up in the air. A big factor, experts say, is how the administration will determine whether a person is denied asylum in the United States.
Tuesday’s summit builds on last year’s gathering in Los Angeles, where countries from the Western Hemisphere committed to the Los Angeles Declaration on Migration and Protection. The summit became a point of contention between the US and Mexico when President Andrés Manuel López Obrador snubbed the gathering due to a disagreement over who was invited. Mexican officials were still attending the summit.
The North American Leaders’ Summit marks the six-month anniversary of that declaration.
“We have a very ambitious agenda, and so the United States has a lot of commitments on the table at the beginning of that, and we continue to push other countries,” a senior administration official said, stressing that the problem won’t be solved overnight.
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