President Biden’s administration quietly announced Wednesday that Venezuelans who enter the US illegally will be “returned” to Mexico and that those seeking asylum must find a sponsor, undergo a public safety screening and meet certain requirements. of vaccination not yet specified, according to a statement. published by the Department of Homeland Security.
The policy comes after New York City has been under pressure for months from immigrants, many of them Venezuelans, who flock to the five boroughs seeking refuge.
So far this year, nearly 20,000 immigrants have arrived in the Big Apple.
At that moment, Mayor Adams has asked for assistance from the state and federal government to help ease the pressure that the influx of newcomers has put on the city’s homeless shelter system.
Biden’s new policy, parts of which were posted with little fanfare on the Department of Homeland Security’s website Wednesday, is similar to former President Donald Trump’s in that it allows migrants to be sent back to Mexico. if they enter the US illegally
Two areas where the policy differs from Trump’s are the provision that asylum seekers must secure sponsorship in the form of someone to provide financial support in the US and a clearer path to legal residency. The Department of Homeland Security did not immediately respond to a message.
According to DHS, the new policy seeks to establish a safer and more orderly process for people fleeing Venezuela and ease pressure on cities like New York that have been welcoming migrants.
“These actions make it clear that there is a legal and orderly way for Venezuelans to enter the United States, and legal entry is the only way,” Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said in a written statement. “Those who attempt to illegally cross the southern border of the United States will be returned to Mexico and will not be eligible for this process in the future. Those who follow the legal process will have the opportunity to safely travel to the United States and be eligible to work here.”
The new program will also establish new immigration checkpoints along the southwest border, target human smuggling networks, and create a new process to legally allow up to 24,000 “qualified” Venezuelans into the US.
Immigrants who have been ordered removed from the US in the last five years or who crossed the border illegally after October 12 will not be eligible to remain in the US. Permanent or dual nationals from countries other than Venezuela or who have refugee status in a country other than the US would also be subject to deportation.
“Venezuelans should not travel to Mexico to attempt to enter the United States,” according to DHS.
In the written statement issued Wednesday, the agency said it “may consider expanding [the process] in the future,” but did not explain what exactly that means.
In recent months, federal and state assistance it has come only in dribs and drabs, or not at all. Governor Hochul activated more than 140 members of the New York National Guard to help with the logistics of setting up tents to house migrants on Randalls Island recently, but with the midterm elections just around the corner and Hochul in the midst of her own re-election campaign, both she and Biden have been reluctant to make any move that would provide Republicans with talking points on a hot-button issue like immigration.
Despite the politics, Adams, also a Democrat, delivered a speech from City Hall last Friday renewing his demands that the feds and the state do more to provide assistance to the city. Among those requests was that the federal government relax work requirements for immigrants now in the US and that there be a concerted effort to spread the burden New York feels to other cities and states.
On Thursday, Adams hailed the president’s new policy as a victory, but with a warning that more needs to be done.
“While details are still emerging, this federal action is a short-term step in addressing this humanitarian crisis and humanely managing the flow of border crossings. But a long-term, proactive strategy is still needed, including Congress passing legislation that allows asylum seekers to work legally and provides emergency financial relief for our city,” Adams said. “In addition, we need a bipartisan effort to achieve long-awaited immigration reform so that we can offer people a safe and legal path to the American dream. We are grateful to President Biden and his administration for our continued dialogue to address this humanitarian crisis and look forward to continuing to work closely with them in the future.”
Republicans also declared victory over the ad Thursday morning.
City Councilman Joe Borelli (R-Staten Island) suggested the news validated Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s controversial practice of transporting immigrants to New York by bus, a policy that Adams has repeatedly criticized for a lack of coordination. of Abbott with him.
“The pressure that was generated after the New York crisis erupted was enough for the administration to realize that it could not announce an open borders policy in the midterm elections,” Borelli said. “If you’re the governor of Texas or Arizona, you probably can’t help but think that mission was partially accomplished today. This would not have happened without New York experiencing an explosion in the migrant population with budget-busting costs.”