The new plan, which goes into immediate effect, will provide an avenue for 224,000 individuals who are eligible Venezuelans to legally be admitted to legally into the United States on the condition that they have a family member living in the country who is able to provide them with financial support and they haven’t entered illegally into Mexico and Panama in the intention of entering.
“Venezuelans should not travel to Mexico to pursue entry into the United States,” the Department of Homeland Security said.
However, Venezuelans who do not meet the criteria and who enter the United States between ports of entry will be sent back to Mexico and excluded from admission via the newly-created route in the future.
“These actions make clear that there is a lawful and orderly way for Venezuelans to enter the United States, and lawful entry is the only way,” Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkassaid in an official statement. “Those who follow the lawful process will have the opportunity to travel safely to the United States and become eligible to work here.”
The program is the result of a deal with Mexico and Mexico, stems from the Biden administration’s initiative that was announced in April to offer 100,000 Ukrainians who fled Russia’s wartime entry into the United States. The United States aims to stop the increasing number of refugees that are arriving at border crossings at the U.S. southern border.
As per U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials, the record for over 2 million border crossings were recorded at the U.S.-Mexico border in the fiscal year. The officials said that around 1 million people were ejected in accordance with Title 42, a COVID-19 border security measure.
The increase is due to asylum-seekers fleeing oppressive government regimes of Venezuela, Cuba, and Nicaragua accounting for 35 percent of all encounters, and an upsurge of 175% compared to the previous year.
Homeland Security officials have said that almost four times the number of Venezuelans this year tried to cross the border into South America as compared to the same time last year.
“This effort is intended to enhance border security by reducing the number of Venezuelans seeking to irregularly enter the United States,” the Department of Homeland Security said.
Mexico announced in an announcement that within the deal, it will allow for a short period of time for certain Venezuelan citizens barred from in the United States under Title 42 for reasons of humanitarian concern to enter the borders of Mexico.
In conjunction with the announcement, it was announced that the Department of Homeland Security announced the availability of additional H2-B visas for non-agricultural temporary workers and 20,000 of them are allocated to those who are from Central America and Haiti. This figure is in addition to those 66,000 visas H-2B which are typically available every year.
Mexico has said the plan will prioritize travel via air rather than crossing the U.S.-Mexico border in order to achieve a “shared goal of ensuring orderly, safe, regular and humane migration.”