Mexico Confident U.S. Will Expand Humanitarian Access for Venezuelans

The U.S. is likely to increase the number of Venezuelans who are allowed humanitarian access under a recent migrant agreement between the U.S. and Mexico, Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said.

It comes after a bilateral plan was announced last week Wednesday between the U.S. and Mexico. 

U.S. and Mexican authorities recently announced a new policy that would expel Venezuelans entering the U.S. land border back to Mexico, but allow up to 24,000 people from the country to apply for humanitarian entry into the United States by air.

The cross-border plan was launched to curb a sharp increase in border crossings by Venezuelans. The speed of their expulsions over the past week has fed concern that Mexico’s ability to absorb them will be severely tested.

The measures respond in part to political pressure on U.S. President Joe Biden to curb record numbers of illegal crossings at the Mexico-U.S. border. The U.S. could also expand its plan in order to encompass other nationalities besides Venezuelans. 

Ebrard said that the number of 24,000 “humanitarian visas” for Venezuelans “is probably going to grow.”

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said he discussed migration with his counterpart President Biden, and noted that proposals were afoot to enable U.S. humanitarian access for Central Americans too.

The Department of Homeland Security published on Tuesday a Federal Register notice (PDF) announcing the official start of the program.

Venezuelans have been one of the largest groups of migrants involved in crossing the Mexico-U.S. border, in part because Washington granted temporary protection status last year to those who were on U.S. soil. 

Venezuelans who meet the U.S. requirements may apply for the recently announced U.S. program. Among the requirements is having a U.S.-based supporter and holding a valid passport. The cost of a passport in Venezuela is $200, nearly ten times the country’s minimum wage.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.