During the North American Leaders’ Summit on Tuesday, the Biden administration will take additional steps to try to stop migrants from traveling. to the southern border of the United States.
Recent efforts a A time of unprecedented movement A senior administration official said it is designed to curb border crossings while developing legal immigration programs in the Western Hemisphere and into the United States, Mexico and Canada.
But the success of those measures depends on migrants seeing those options as viable, especially when rushing out of worsening conditions in their home countries.
During his presidency, Joe Biden tackles changing migration patterns This poses unique challenges to management and has stretched federal and local resources. The issue has become increasingly politically sensitive for the administration — drawing sharp criticism from both Republicans and Democrats — and has been a major point of discussion with partners to the south, primarily Mexico.
Ahead of Tuesday’s summit, administration officials underscored the need for a regional response that shares responsibility for stemming migration flows among partners in the hemisphere. Tuesday’s announcement is a reflection of that.
The Biden administration is expected to announce a virtual site that would serve as a one-stop shop for immigrants to find information about legal options to stay in the U.S., Mexico or Canada — and open a new resource center. in southern Mexico, said a senior executive.
“The United States, Mexico and Canada will all commit to making it possible for immigrants to access our legal pathways through a single platform,” a senior administration official told CNN.
The Virtual Portal recognizes the challenges immigrants face in trying to identify legal avenues to come to the United States. Instead, people often see smugglers spreading misinformation about U.S. policies to travel north — a stumbling block for the Biden administration, which is trying to discourage immigrants from taking that route.
“It’s an experiment,” said a senior administration official, citing plans for some nationalities who want to come to the United States recently.
Work is underway to build the portal and it is expected to come together in the next few months.
“We are always competing with traffickers, so we think easy-to-access, user-friendly, virtual platforms are very important … but centers where people can go and know they can trust people there and get accurate information. Even referrals based on intakes and interviews,” the official said. He also said.
As part of that effort, the United States is working with Mexico to open brick-and-mortar centers where immigrants can get information on how to apply to the United States, mirroring the migrant resource center launched in Guatemala. A new center will be established in the city of Tapachula in southern Mexico, which hosts thousands of migrants on their way to the US-Mexico border.
“We know this is a transit location, so this center will help people stay where they are and apply from there,” said a senior executive.
The announcement is prompting questions among immigration advocates, who say its effectiveness is now unknown.
“It’s a big, big open question,” said one immigration lawyer, adding that while such an online platform could help thousands of asylum seekers, it could prove “inaccessible” to many.
The portal is still under construction and may not open for several months, so details are still up in the air. A big factor, experts say, is how the administration determines whether someone is ineligible to seek asylum in the United States.
National Security Council strategic communications coordinator John Kirby said Monday that migration “will be a key discussion” during this week’s summit.
“There is no doubt that migration will be the main topic of discussion here in the next 24, 36 hours. Clearly, it’s on everyone’s mind here in the hemisphere,” Kirby told CNN’s Alisyn Camerota on Monday, citing Mexico’s recent pledge to accept thousands of non-Mexican immigrants who crossed the border illegally and did not apply to come to the United States. New projects.
The leaders will also discuss the root causes of migration, Kirby said, citing Vice President Kamala Harris’ work on the issue, while the issue will be a major topic of conversation throughout the trip.
Tuesday’s summit builds on last year’s gathering in Los Angeles, where countries from across the Western Hemisphere committed to the Los Angeles Declaration on Migration and Security. The summit was a point of contention between the United States and Mexico when President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador boycotted the meeting over disagreements over who was invited. Mexican officials still attended the summit.
The North American Leaders’ Summit marks the six-month anniversary of that announcement.
“We have a very ambitious agenda, which is why the United States has so many commitments at the beginning of this and we continue to push other countries,” said a senior administration official, stressing that the challenge will not be solved overnight.