Biden pairs tough border checks with opportunity in new migration strategy

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By Euronews  with AP
US President Joe Biden plans to visit the US-Mexico border next week.
US President Joe Biden plans to visit the US-Mexico border next week.   -  Copyright  Patrick Semansky/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved.

US President Joe Biden says the US would immediately begin turning away Cubans, Haitians and Nicaraguans who cross the border from Mexico illegally, his boldest move yet to confront the arrivals of migrants that have spiralled since he took office two years ago.

The new rules expand on an existing effort to stop Venezuelans attempting to enter the US, which began in October and led to a dramatic drop in those nationals coming to the southern border. Together, they represent a major change to immigration rules that will stand even if the Supreme Court ends a Trump-era public health law that allows authorities to turn away asylum seekers.

“Do not, do not just show up at the border,” he said as he announced the changes, even as he acknowledged the hardships that lead many families to make the dangerous journey north.

“Stay where you are and apply legally from there". 

Biden made the announcement just days before a planned visit to El Paso, Texas, on Sunday for his first trip to the southern border as president. From there, he will travel on to Mexico City for the North American Leaders' Summit on Monday and Tuesday.

Homeland Security officials said they would begin denying asylum to those who circumvent legal pathways and did not first ask for asylum in the country they travelled through to get to the US.

Instead, the US will accept 30,000 people per month from the four nations for two years and offer the ability to work legally, as long as they come legally, have eligible sponsors and pass vetting and background checks. Border crossings by migrants from those four nations have risen most sharply, with no easy way to quickly return them to their home countries.

“This new process is orderly,” Biden added. 

“It’s safe and humane, and it works”.

For more watch Euronews' report in the video above.