Officials from the United States and Mexico have reached an agreement on new immigration rules designed to prevent unauthorized border crossings while also paving the way for more migrants to enter the country after the end of pandemic restrictions next week.
According to statements from both countries, Homeland Security adviser Liz Sherwood-Randall met with President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador of Mexico and other top officials on Tuesday and came away with a five-point plan.
Up to 100,000 people from Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador who have family in the United States will be eligible to live and work there under the terms of the agreement. Mexico will also continue to accept migrants from Venezuela, Haiti, Cuba, and Nicaragua who are turned away at the border.
The COVID-19 restrictions have allowed U.S. officials to turn away tens of thousands of migrants crossing the southern border, but those restrictions will lift May 11, and border officials are bracing for a surge. Even with the restrictions, the administration has seen record numbers of people crossing the border, and President Joe Biden has responded by cracking down on those who cross illegally and by creating new avenues meant as alternatives to a dangerous and often deadly journey.
Mexico’s support is critical to any push by the U.S. to clamp down at the southern border, particularly as migrants from nations from as far away as Haiti are making the trek on foot up through Mexico, and are not easily returned back to their home countries.