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Expanding Legal Pathways for Migrants

(FILE) President Joe Biden walks along a stretch of the U.S.-Mexico border in Texas.
(FILE) President Joe Biden walks along a stretch of the U.S.-Mexico border in Texas.

The Biden-Harris administration is “focused on making migrations more safe, orderly and humane,” said State Secretary Blinken.

Expanding Legal Pathways for Migrants
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The Biden-Harris administration is determined to expand legal pathways for migration to the United States and prevent people from taking the dangerous journey to the border.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Myorkas recently outlined a series of measures in support of this goal.

One of them is the establishment of Regional Processing Centers in select locations. The first such centers will open in Colombia and Guatemala. Secretary Blinken praised the two countries as “excellent partners:”

“These centers will be operated by international organization partners and improve qualified individuals’ access to accelerated refugee resettlement processing, family reunification, and labor pathways in the United States. They will also be a referral point for lawful pathways as well, as well as humanitarian and refugee protections in other countries, like Canada and Spain.”

Homeland Security Secretary Myorkas noted that another way to expand legal pathways is to streamline the long-established family reunification parole processes for Cubans and Haitians so that individuals from these countries with approved family-based petitions can more quickly reunite with their families in the United States.

“Third, I have directed my team to develop family reunification processes that will extend this well-recognized model to certain individuals from El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Colombia,” he said.

Fourth, through the successful Customs and Border Protection One mobile app, people will be able to schedule more appointments at ports of entry. “The Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela parole processes, as well as the corresponding returns to Mexico for those without a legal basis to remain, will continue,” said Homeland Security Secretary Myorkas. “At the same time, we are imposing consequences for individuals who do not use our lawful pathways.”

Those consequences include a five-year ban on admission to the U.S, and the possibility of criminal prosecution for any subsequent attempt to cross the border illegally.

“Let me be clear,” said Homeland Security Secretary Myorkas, “Our border is not open.”

The approach of the Biden-Harris administration is “focused on making migrations more safe, orderly and humane, and on advancing the interests of the American people,” declared Secretary of State Blinken.

He also underscored the importance of working with our regional partners. There is a “ the heart of the migration challenge,” Secretary Blinken said. “How can we all work together, as we are, to provide the foundation for better, more secure and more hopeful futures for all our citizens?”