Biden will visit the US-Mexico border city of El Paso on Sunday as the White House introduces new immigration rules.

U.S. President Joe Biden is flanked by Vice President Kamala Harris as he speaks about security and border enforcement between the U.S. and Mexico, at the Roosevelt Room at the White House in Washington, U.S. January 5, 2023.

Kevin Lamark | Reuters

President of the U.S.A Joe Biden The US will visit the southern border city of El Paso, Texas on Sunday to meet with local officials and discuss law enforcement measures along the US-Mexico border, senior administration officials said Thursday.

The announcement was made at a briefing with reporters about new immigration rules that the administration says will expand legal routes into the US for migrants from Cuba, Haiti and Nicaragua, as well as impose new penalties for illegal entry.

The details of the trip were revealed a day after Biden said he planned to visit the border for the first time almost two years after taking office. His absence has prompted constant attacks from Republicans who criticize the administration’s border policies and blame the White House for the raging migration crisis.

“As long as America remains a land of freedom and opportunity, people will try to come here,” Biden said at the White House Thursday morning. He was accompanied by Vice President Kamala Harris, who Biden had previously assigned to handle immigration matters.

“The actions we are announcing today will improve the situation, but will not completely solve the border problem. Much more needs to be done,” Biden said, urging Congress to pass more comprehensive immigration legislation.

Biden is set to travel to Mexico City on Monday and Tuesday to attend the North American Leaders’ Summit.

Ahead of the trip, officials announced several new enforcement measures aimed at explaining the possible repeal of Section 42, a coronavirus-era measure that has been used to remove many migrants on public health grounds.

Actions include extending the migrant parole process to allow entry and temporary work permits for up to 30,000 people per month from Venezuela, Cuba, Haiti and Nicaragua. The policy, which was previously only available to Venezuelan citizens, has significantly reduced the number of people trying to enter the US illegally, the White House said.

Those who have suitable sponsors and pass background checks can come to the US for up to two years, officials said. But those who cross the borders of Panama, Mexico or the United States without proper permission will not be allowed to enter and may be deported to Mexico, which will receive up to 30,000 people a month from these four countries.

The new rules are designed to encourage more potential migrants to enter the US from where they are, rather than making the long and dangerous journey to the border.

The Department of Homeland Security is also expanding its use of the expedited removal process for people trying to enter the US inappropriately, officials said. These people will be sent back to their country of origin and banned from re-entry for five years.

The Biden administration also shared plans to increase border security resources, including expanding DHS transportation capabilities and increasing the number of asylum officers and judges to handle cases.

More than 2 million people have been deported to the Section 42 southern border since the policy went into effect in 2020. Last month the U.S. Supreme Court voted 5–4 to keep the policy in place now and hear arguments about it from Republican-led states.

“Title 42 or not, the border is not open,” Homeland Security Minister Alejandro Mallorcas said at a briefing later Thursday.


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