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Biden Administration Announces New Rules for Migrants from Four Countries

Legal Path to Citizenship

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With significant civil unrest and economic and political upheaval in their home countries, many migrants from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela have made dangerous journeys to try to enter the U.S. This has led to a surge of migrants at the southern border of the U.S. waiting to enter the country. Recently, President Joseph R. Biden announced new rules under which the government will start turning Cubans, Nicaraguans, and Haitians who have entered the U.S. at the southern border illegally. These rules build on the rules Biden announced in October to turn away Venezuelans crossing the southern border. The New York deportation attorneys at Oltarsh & Associates can help people understand whether they might have a legal path to citizenship and defend against removal proceedings.

Understanding the Immigration Rules

In October, the Biden Administration announced a rule that allowed immigration authorities to turn away Venezuelan migrants at the southern border. With the new rules announced to similarly turn away migrants from Nicaragua, Haiti, and Cuba, there might be a substantial decline in migrants entering the U.S. illegally from those four countries even if Title 42 is ended.

Officials with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security stated that they will start denying asylum to migrants from the four countries who do not ask for asylum first in the country they traveled through on their way to the U.S. The government stated it will accept 30,000 asylum seekers from the four countries for the next two years and provide them with work authorization. However, they must have sponsors in the U.S. who are willing to support them, pass background checks, undergo vetting, and come to the country legally. The rules are focused on people from those four countries because they make up the greatest percentage of the surge of migrants, and they can’t be easily returned to their countries of origin.

Mexico has similarly agreed to accept 30,000 migrants per month from the four countries who are turned away at the U.S.-Mexico border after entering the U.S. illegally. Normally, the U.S. government would return migrants who have entered illegally back to their home countries, but doing so with migrants from these four countries is more difficult because of problematic governmental relations.

Political Issues

President Biden is facing pushback from both immigration advocates and Republicans. Immigration advocates point to the fact that Biden’s new policy is similar to those of the former administration instead of trying to restore access to asylum. The U.S. House of Representatives, which is now controlled by Republicans, is similarly critical of the administration’s immigration policies. Republican lawmakers have promised to investigate the administration’s immigration policies at the border.

During the first two years of Biden’s term, entries at the southern border have risen dramatically. In the most recent fiscal year, 2.38 million migrants were stopped after entering the U.S. illegally. Biden’s new policy would mean that as many as 360,000 people from the four countries could lawfully enter the U.S. per year. However, many more people from those countries have attempted to enter the U.S.

While anyone can claim asylum when they enter the U.S., only around 30% of asylum applications are granted. Migrants who cross into the U.S. illegally between ports of entry are allowed to remain in the country until their cases are heard. However, there is a huge backlog of cases in the immigration court, meaning that many people will not have their cases heard for several years.

Despite these problems, Congress has repeatedly failed to pass meaningful immigration reform laws. A recent, bipartisan effort failed before Republicans took the majority in the House.

Changes for Refugees

The Biden administration also announced that it will increase the number of refugees accepted from the Caribbean and Latin America to 20,000 over the next two years. Refugees have to meet the same requirements as asylum seekers, but they enter the country in different ways.

Speak With a New York Deportation Attorney about Your Legal Path to Citizenship

If you are currently facing removal proceedings, you should speak to a New York immigration attorney at Oltarsh & Associates. Our experienced lawyers have years of experience helping people with their immigration matters and can help you understand your options. Call us today to request an appointment at (212) 944-9420.

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