By Dave Graham and Ted Hesson
MEXICO CITY/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. and Mexican officials have agreed on a plan to curb the growing number of Venezuelans crossing their shared border, which will allow the U.S. to expel Venezuelans to Mexico while granting humanitarian access to thousands of them by air.
The latest scheme to curb illegal immigration at the US-Mexico border was announced on Wednesday, less than a month before the US midterm elections, which threaten to deprive Democratic President Joe Biden of his party’s control in the United States. Congress.
Starting Oct. 12, US authorities will begin managing access for 24,000 Venezuelan immigrants by air, the two governments said in a statement.
“These actions make it clear that there is a legal and orderly way for Venezuelans to enter the United States, and legal entry is the only way,” US Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said in a statement.
“Those who attempt to cross the southern border of the United States illegally will be returned to Mexico and will not be able to participate in this process in the future.”
Biden has struggled politically to deal with record detentions of migrants on the southwestern US border, a phenomenon fueled by a surge in people from Venezuela as well as Cuba and Nicaragua.
His Republican opponents, who are seeking to gain control of Congress in the Nov. 8 elections, are critical of what they see as Biden’s failure to secure the border.