In a joint statement, the United States and Mexico indicated that they have reached an agreement on a plan to curb Venezuelan migration. This move is made in a bid to ease some of the pressure on the border that the two countries share which has recently witnessed an uptick in the number of migrants from the crisis-hit country, said reports.
The deal announced on Wednesday will allow the US to send some Venezuelan nationals to Mexico while granting humanitarian access to others. Starting October 12 several flights will be arranged for at least 24,000 migrants to arrive in Washington and stay for up to two years, said the statement.
“These actions make clear that there is a lawful and orderly way for Venezuelans to enter the United States, and lawful entry is the only way…Those who attempt to cross the southern border of the United States illegally will be returned to Mexico and will be ineligible for this process in the future.” said the US secretary of Homeland Security, Alejandro Mayorkas, in a statement.
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As per reports, more than six million Venezuelans have fled their country in the last five years. This comes amid food, fuel and medicine shortages and increased violence and repression by the country’s President Nicolás Maduro and his government.
The agreement is based on the Uniting for Ukraine programme, under which following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, people from Kyiv could enter Washington by securing a sponsor. This sponsor could be a person or an organisation based in the US and back up their claim that they are in fact a part of the programme, said the media reports.
On the other hand, Mexico has agreed to “temporarily” allow some Venezuelan nationals to enter the country but did not specify the number. Reports suggest that officials in Mexico have argued that economic sanctions against Maduro’s government are fueling illegal immigration and should be eased.
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Mexico’s government has also reportedly said that those seeking to apply for the US new programme must not enter through the US-Mexico border. Furthermore, at Mexico’s request Washington has also agreed to provide an additional 65,000 temporary visas to migrants for non-agricultural jobs out of which 20,000 will be allocated to Central Americans and Haitians, said a media report.
This comes ahead of the mid-term elections where US president Joe Biden’s government has struggled to deal with the increase in migrant detentions at the country’s southwest border, due to the uptick in people coming in from Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua, said media reports. unkindwhile, his opposition, the Republican party has criticised his government for what they claim is Biden’s failure to secure the border.
(With inputs from agencies)
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