The United States Plans a Program of 30,000 Monthly Visas for Migrants from Cuba and Other Countries

Some 1,000 migrants surrendered to the Border Patrol in Eagle Pass (Texas) at the beginning of December. (@BillFOXLA)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 5 January 2023 — A new U.S. immigration program will facilitate the granting of up to 30,000 visas each month to Cuban, Venezuelan, Nicaraguan and Haitian citizens. The program also provides for the deportation of migrants from those same countries who are trapped in the attempt to cross borders, Reuters reported.

Two US officials and one Mexican official reported to the agency that Joe Biden’s government will offer more details this Thursday. According to the officials, the precedent on which the program was based was a policy that Biden implemented in October for thousands of Venezuelan citizens to enter the United States legally if they had someone to answer for them — a “sponsor” — in the country. The launch date of the new program is scheduled, according to Reuters, for next week, although the Biden Administration has not officially confirmed this.

On Wednesday, Biden said he wanted to observe “what is happening” on the border with Mexico and explained that the trip would be imminent, although he was still organizing “the details.” “I’m going to give a speech tomorrow about border security, and they will hear more about it,” he said.

According to Reuters, Biden may visit the city of El Paso, Texas, which declared a “state of emergency” in December due to the avalanche of migrants arriving at the end of the year. Biden will also be in Mexico City on January 9 for a meeting with President Andrés Manuel López Obrador and the Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau.

The ease of migrants to enter the country illegally has been one of the aspects most criticized by the Republican opposition. Disorder, mistreatment and disrespect for human rights at the border have been frequently denounced by non-governmental organizations.

“A more orderly and humane system for the treatment of migrants is the president’s goal,” the three officials told Reuters. Since the end of 2022, the situation has become more complicated for the crossing of Cubans, Nicaraguans and Haitians who travel the Central American route to the southwestern border of the United States.

Several months ago, Reuters learned from an anonymous official source that revealed the agreement, by the Cuban government, to again accept deportations by air of migrants detained at the border with Mexico, although it clarified that the measure would only apply to “occasional groups.”

The Biden Administration saw the measure as a “new but limited tool to stop the number of Cubans crossing the border,” according to Reuters. At the moment of the report, Havana and Washington had resumed bilateral talks, in particular on the immigration situation, aggravated by the exodus of more than 220,000 Cubans who arrived in the United States by land in 2022.

Translated by Regina Anavy


COLLABORATE WITH OUR WORKThe 14ymedio team is committed to practicing serious journalism that reflects Cuba’s reality in all its depth. Thank you for joining us on this long journey. We invite you to continue supporting us by becoming a member of 14ymedio now. Together we can continue transforming journalism in Cuba.