President Joe Biden announced new border rules, tightening the border. Biden said the U.S. would immediately begin turning away Cubans, Haitians, and Nicaraguans who cross the border from Mexico illegally.
It marks his strongest move to date to confront the arrivals of migrants, which have spiraled since he took office two years ago.
The U.S. will accept 30,000 people each month from the four countries for two years. They will be offered the ability to work legally, as long as they come legally, have eligible sponsors, and pass vetting and background checks.
Illegal border crossings by Cubans and Nicaraguans rose sharply in November while overall migration flows were little changed from October.
The snapshot was one of the latest detailed accounts of who is crossing the border from Mexico amid preparations to end a Trump-era asylum ban.
The new rules are an expansion on an existing effort to stop Venezuelans attempting to enter the U.S. In October it was announced that the U.S. had agreed to accept up to 24,000 Venezuelan migrants at U.S. airports, similar to how Ukrainians have been admitted since Russia’s invasion, while Mexico has agreed to take back Venezuelans who come to the U.S. illegally over land.
The rules represent a major change to immigration rules that will stand even if the Supreme Court ends a Trump-era public health law that allows the U.S. to turn away asylum-seekers.
“Do not, do not just show up at the border,” Biden said as he announced the changes, even as he acknowledged the hardships that lead many families to make the dangerous journey away from home and to the U.S.
The announcement comes as Biden plans a visit to El Paso, Texas, where he is set to arrive on Sunday. It will be his first trip to the southern border since he became President. He will then go to Mexico on Monday for meetings with North American leaders at the beginning of next week.