Biden to tackle illegal immigration by making more 'migrants' qualify as legal

The White House added that an important measure in addressing "irregular migration" would be "Countering xenophobia and discrimination against migrants and refugees."

Hannah Nightingale Washington DC

As North American leaders meet for the North American Leaders' Summit this week, President Biden, Canadian prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador discussed measures to curb "irregular immigration."

In a White House fact sheet regarding "Key Deliverables for the 2023 North American Leaders’ Summit," it states that "In particular, the United States, Mexico, and Canada will continue to champion the expansion of legal pathways and other humane measures to address irregular migration in the region." 

To address so-called "irregular migration" which has seen a record number of migrants cross the border illegally into the US under the Biden administration, the White House stated that these measures include implementing an action plan to "improve coordination and address the root causes of irregular migration," as well as rolling out a "virtual platform" through the Los Angeles Declaration on Migration and Protection "to give migrants streamlined access to legal pathways." 

The White House states that this virtual platform will "give potential migrants the information they need to come to Mexico, the United States, and Canada lawfully – making them less likely to rely on smugglers who lie about border restrictions in place and put their lives at risk."

Additionally, the North American leaders will build upon an initiative announced at the last leaders' summit which would further help migrants access legal entry into the US in person, through a new partnership to create a center in southern Mexico. 

Also included are measures to share best practices on the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program, as well as sharing best practices on the asylum process "to increase promptness, efficiency, and fairness for the asylum processing systems to ensure that eligible individuals are promptly granted relief or protection and migrants with unmeritorious protection claims are quickly removed."

The White House added that an important measure in addressing irregular migration would be "Countering xenophobia and discrimination against migrants and refugees by promoting balanced public narratives on migrants and refugees to support their meaningful inclusion in the region."

The announcement comes as Biden stated that those attempting to cross the US-Mexico border from Cuba, Haiti, and Nicaragua would be quickly expelled from the country under Title 42.

"My message is this. If you're trying to leave Cuba, Nicaragua, or Haiti, or have agreed to begin a journey to America… do not just show up at the border," Biden said.

Venezuelan migrants were hit with a similar policy in October, resulting in a "dramatic drop" in the number of Venezuelan nationals attempting to enter the United States unlawfully.

Biden additionally announced that the US would allow up to 30,000 people originating from these nations to enter the country legally each month.

Miguel Díaz-Canel of the Communist Party of Cuba took over from Raúl Castro as President of Cuba in 2019. Daniel Ortega from the socialist Sandinista National Liberation Front has been president of Nicaragua since 2007. Prime Minister Ariel Henry has been acting president of Haiti since 2021 after the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse. Nicolas Maduro, the successor to Hugo Chavez and leader of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela, has been president of Venezuela since 2013.


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