CubaBrief: Biden to expel Cuban, Nicaraguan and Haitian migrants caught crossing the U.S.- Mexico border. The Hill published “Why Cubans leave” Spoiler alert: Its not the embargo, its the dictatorship

The White House is attempting to get control of the border and stepping up deportations of migrants crossing the U.S. border. Reuters reported that “President Joe Biden said on Thursday in his first major speech on border security” that “the United States will expand Trump-era restrictions to rapidly expel Cuban, Nicaraguan and Haitian migrants caught illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexico border. At the same time, the United States will allow up to 30,000 people from those three countries plus Venezuela to enter the country by air each month, Biden said.”  The White House released a fact sheet outlining the new policy that is included in this CubaBrief.

“The U.S. embargo on the Cuban government is not the cause of this mass exodus. Cuba’s communist dictatorship is,” wrote John Suarez in his OpEd published in The Hill on January 4, 2022 titled “Why Cubans leave.” The Hill editors cut out an important detail. They published that Cuban mathematics teacher Francisco Chaviano was threatened with 15 years in prison if he did not stop trying to determine how many Cubans had gone missing in the Florida Straits, but left out that the threat was carried out.

Francisco Chaviano reunited after 13 years in prison with his wife Ana Aguililla in 2007.

Chaviano refused to stop investigating how many Cubans went missing. He was arrested, drugged and subjected to a military trial. Sentenced to 15 years, he served over 13 years in prison, and emerged in poor health. Amnesty International declared him a prisoner of conscience.”

Reuters, January 6, 2023

Facing pressure over border crossings, Biden steps up migrant expulsions

​FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Joe Biden speaks to the news media before boarding Marine One for travel to Kentucky from the South Lawn of the White House, in Washington, U.S., January 4, 2023. REUTERS/Leah Millis/File Photo reuters_tickers

January 6, 2023 – 01:11

By Andrea Shalal and Ted Hesson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The United States will expand Trump-era restrictions to rapidly expel Cuban, Nicaraguan and Haitian migrants caught illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexico border, President Joe Biden said on Thursday in his first major speech on border security.

At the same time, the United States will allow up to 30,000 people from those three countries plus Venezuela to enter the country by air each month, Biden said.

The two-pronged approach is designed to blunt criticism from Republicans who have attacked Biden as record numbers of migrants cross the U.S.-Mexico border while also placating Democrats and immigration advocates who say “Title 42” restrictions adopted under former President Donald Trump block migrants from exercising their right to apply for asylum.

“This new process is orderly, it’s safe and it’s humane,” Biden said in a speech at the White House. He said his message to those would-be migrants from Cuba, Nicaragua or Haiti without a U.S. sponsor is: “Do not just show up at the border.”

In November, U.S. border officials encountered 82,000 migrants from those countries and Venezuela who were attempting to enter without permission at the border with Mexico, according to U.S. government data.

The plan is part of a broader effort to deter record numbers of border crossers and address the political and humanitarian challenge of mass migration that has dogged the Democratic president since he took office in 2021, as well as his predecessors from both parties.

“These actions alone are not going to fix our entire immigration system,” Biden said, but they could “help a good deal.”

National Association of Manufacturers President Jay Timmons welcomed Biden’s actions, but said congressional reforms were still needed, especially “with 779,000 open jobs and not enough Americans to fill these vacancies.”

Democratic lawmakers including Senator Bob Menendez have criticized the expansion of these policies, which on Thursday he called “a disastrous and inhumane relic of the Trump administration’s racist immigration agenda.”

Republicans have criticized Biden for what they describe as lax border enforcement and have rejected the president’s proposals for immigration reform and related funding in Congress.

Biden defended the role immigrants play and asserted a U.S. responsibility to accept persecuted people from around globe.

The U.S. government can use existing resources to deport migrants and process asylum seekers, but U.S. officials say the system will be slowed until Congress approves funds for more resources.

“We don’t have enough immigration judges to adjudicate the claims,” Biden said.

EL PASO BORDER STOP

Biden will visit El Paso, Texas, on Sunday, his first trip to the border with Mexico since taking office.

El Paso, a Democratic stronghold with a history of welcoming immigrants, has struggled in recent months to cope with tens of thousands of migrants crossing the border from Mexico.

Discussion of immigration is expected to be a priority when Biden travels to Mexico City for a summit next Tuesday with Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

In response to Biden’s actions, Mexico’s government said Washington had “responded positively” to Mexico’s requests to expand labor and humanitarian opportunities for migrants in the region. Mexico said the U.S. plan would also expand refugee resettlement policies.

The cap of 30,000 a people a month offers a “significant alternative to irregular migratory flows that can carry significant risks for the safety of migrants and refugees,” Mexico’s government said in a statement.

If the humanitarian access applications are filled, for a total of 360,000 people in 2023, it would represent the biggest increase in U.S. labor opportunities for migrants in recent years, it said.

Under the plan announced on Thursday, Mexico will accept up to 30,000 expelled migrants per month from Cuba, Nicaragua, Haiti and Venezuela. Migrants who cannot be expelled back to Mexico increasingly will be subjected to a rapid deportation process known as “expedited removal,” a senior official said.

Reuters reported last week that the Biden administration planned to implement the new curbs and entry program.

The policy change follows a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in late December that the pandemic-era restrictions, known as Title 42, must stay in place for what could be months as a legal battle plays out.

The Biden administration intends to propose a regulation that would restrict asylum access at the border if migrants do not follow the new processes or if they pass through another country en route to the United States without seeking protection there, U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said at a news conference.

Similar limits on asylum access during the Trump years drew opposition from advocates and were blocked by federal courts.

Mayorkas said the Biden restrictions would be different because migrants would be able to apply to enter the United States through new legal pathways, bringing “order and safety” to the asylum process.

(Reporting by Andrea Shalal, Ted Hesson, Doina Chiacu, Matt Spetalnick and Steve Holland in Washington; Editing by Mary Milliken, Alistair Bell and Howard Goller)

https://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/reuters/facing-pressure-over-border-crossings–biden-steps-up-migrant-expulsions/48183074

The White House, January 5, 2023

January 05, 2023

FACT SHEET: Biden-⁠Harris Administration Announces New Border Enforcement Actions

New Measures Leverage Success of Venezuela Enforcement Initiative to Limit Disorderly and Unsafe Migration

While the courts have prevented the Title 42 public health order from lifting for now, the Biden-Harris Administration today is announcing new enforcement measures to increase security at the border and reduce the number of individuals crossing unlawfully between ports of entry. These measures will expand and expedite legal pathways for orderly migration and result in new consequences for those who fail to use those legal pathways. They also draw on the success of the Venezuela initiative, which launched in October 2022 and has resulted in a dramatic drop in the number of Venezuelan nationals attempting to enter the United States unlawfully.

The Administration is also announcing that it is surging additional resources to the border and the region, scaling up its anti-smuggling operations, and expanding coordination and support for border cities and non-governmental organizations. Importantly, the actions announced today are being implemented in close partnership with Mexico and governments across the Western Hemisphere.

While these steps will help address some of the most acute challenges at the Southwest border, they will not solve all of the problems in an immigration system that has been broken for far too long. That can only happen if Republicans in Congress who have spent the past two years talking about border security quit blocking the comprehensive immigration reform and border security measures President Biden proposed on his first day in office, and opposing the billions of dollars in additional funds the President has requested for border security and management.

Unlike some Republican officials playing political games and obstructing real solutions to fix our broken immigration system, President Biden has a plan and is taking action. Under the new enforcement measures announced today, the Biden-Harris Administration will:

Impose New Consequences for Individuals who Attempt to Enter Unlawfully

To facilitate a return to the processing of all noncitizens under Title 8 authorities when Title 42 eventually lifts, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is:

  • Increasing the Use of Expedited Removal. Effective immediately, individuals who attempt to enter the United States without permission, do not have a legal basis to remain, and cannot be expelled pursuant to Title 42 will be increasingly subject to expedited removal to their country of origin and subject to a five-year ban on reentry.

  • Announcing New Measures to Encourage Individuals to Seek Orderly and Lawful Pathways to Migration. DHS and the Department of Justice today are announcing their intent to propose a new regulation that would encourage individuals to seek orderly and lawful pathways to migration and reduce overcrowding along the southwest border and the strain on the immigration system.

Expand Legal Pathways for Safe, Orderly, and Humane Migration

The Biden-Harris Administration and its international partners in the region are also announcing new and expanded legal pathways to the United States and other countries that individuals can and should use to avoid consequences for crossing the border unlawfully. These include:

  • Expanding the Parole Process for Venezuelans to Nicaraguans, Haitians, and Cubans. Today, the Biden Administration is announcing it will extend the successful Venezuela parole process and expand it to nationals of Nicaragua, Haiti, and Cuba. Up to 30,000 individuals per month from these four countries, who have an eligible sponsor and pass vetting and background checks, can come to the United States for a period of two years and receive work authorization. Individuals who irregularly cross the Panama, Mexico, or U.S. border after the date of this announcement will be ineligible for the parole process and will be subject to expulsion to Mexico, which will accept returns of 30,000 individuals per month from these four countries who fail to use these new pathways.

  • Tripling Refugee Resettlement from the Western Hemisphere. The Biden-Harris Administration intends to welcome up to 20,000 refugees from Latin American and Caribbean countries during Fiscal Years 2023 and 2024, putting the United States on pace to more than triple refugee admissions from the Western Hemisphere this Fiscal Year alone. This delivers on the President’s commitment under the Los Angeles Declaration for Migration and Protection to scale up refugee admissions from the Western Hemisphere.

  • Launching Online Appointment Portal to Reduce Overcrowding and Wait Times at U.S. Ports of Entry.  When Title 42 eventually lifts, noncitizens located in Central and Northern Mexico seeking to enter the United States lawfully through a U.S. port of entry have access to the CBP One mobile application for scheduling an appointment to present themselves for inspection and to initiate a protection claim instead of coming directly to a port of entry to wait. This new feature will significantly reduce wait times and crowds at U.S. ports of entry and allow for safe, orderly, and humane processing. 

  • New Legal Pathways to Other Countries Across the Region. Countries across the Western Hemisphere are delivering on their commitments under the Los Angeles Declaration to expand legal immigration pathways. Colombia, Ecuador, Costa Rica, and Belize are each implementing new regularization or temporary protection policies to provide legal status to hundreds of thousands of migrants. Canada, Mexico, and Spain have expanded refugee resettlement and temporary work opportunities. Mexico and Guatemala have also significantly grown their asylum system. Individuals are encouraged to avail themselves of this wide range of legal pathways in the region and avoid the dangerous consequences of irregular migration.

  • Increasing Humanitarian Assistance in Mexico and Central America. The United States is announcing today nearly $23 million in additional humanitarian assistance in Mexico and Central America. This new assistance will help governments in the region respond to the increased humanitarian and protection needs of migrants, refugees and other vulnerable populations in their care. Recognizing that no one country can respond to these needs alone, this assistance will help support shelter, health, legal assistance, mental health and psychosocial support, water, sanitation, hygiene products, gender-based violence response, livelihoods, other protection related activities, and capacity building for partners. 

Surge Resources to Secure the Border, Disrupt Criminal Smuggling Networks, and Support Border Communities

The Biden-Harris Administration is surging resources and expanding efforts to securely manage the border, disrupt the criminal smuggling networks preying on vulnerable migrants, and support communities receiving migrants as they await their immigration enforcement proceedings. New and expanded efforts include:

  • Mobilizing Record Resources for Safe, Orderly, and Humane Processing of Migrants. The Biden Administration is marshalling available authorities and resources from across the Federal Government to help ensure the border is secure and well-managed when the Title 42 public health order eventually lifts. DHS and DOJ are surging asylum officers and immigration judges to review asylum cases at the border more quickly – with the aim of reducing initial processing times from months to days. The two agencies are also expanding capabilities and technologies to support faster processing, including by installing hundreds of phone lines and privacy booths to conduct these interviews and proceedings. DHS is also hiring and deploying additional agents and officers to join the over 23,000 already working to secure the border. In addition, DHS is significantly scaling up its air and ground transportation capabilities to quickly remove migrants when warranted or transport migrants to less-congested border sectors for further immigration enforcement proceedings.

  • Taking Thousands of Smugglers off the Streets and Countering Smuggler Misinformation. In Los Angeles earlier this year, President Biden announced a first-of-its kind operation against the multi-billion-dollar human smuggling industry. Since April, this operation has led to over 7,300 arrests, forcing many criminal smuggling organizations out of business. The Administration is also taking on the smuggler misinformation. The Department of State is expanding its paid and earned media outreach to ensure timely and accurate information is reaching migrants. Messaging and outreach will target high out-migration communities and migrant routes through relevant communications channels (e.g., radio, digital, trusted partners, and more.) with an estimated reach of over 85 million potential migrants

  • Expanding Coordination with and Support for Border Cities, Receiving Communities, and Non-Governmental Organizations. The Biden-Harris Administration is increasing funding available to border cities and those cities receiving an influx of migrants, in addition to strengthening ongoing coordination and collaboration across all levels of government. DHS is also expanding outreach efforts with local jurisdictions to provide coordination of resources and technical assistance support and the Administration has been facilitating coordination between state and local officials and other federal agencies. Additionally, the Administration will continue to mobilize faith-based and non-profit organizations supporting migrants, including those providing temporary shelter, food, and humanitarian assistance before often reuniting with family as they await the outcome of their immigration proceedings.

The Biden-Harris Administration will do everything within its authority and available resources to manage this challenge, but until and unless Congress delivers the funding as well as comprehensive immigration reform measures President Biden requested, the United States’ broken immigration system will indeed remain broken.

https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2023/01/05/fact-sheet-biden-harris-administration-announces-new-border-enforcement-actions/

The Hill, January 4, 2022

Why Cubans leave

by John Suarez, Opinion Contributor – 01/04/23 11:00 AM ET

Getty Images

More than 227,000 Cubans fled Cuba last year. The U.S. Coast Guard reported that 22 migrants died during fiscal 2022. On Dec. 21, Associated Press reporters said that families of Cubans who fled the country during the current exodus had compiled a list of 135 missing relatives.

Havana does not keep track of how many of its citizens are missing. Nor does the Cuban government allow independent actors in Cuba to track the numbers.

Francisco Chaviano González, a former mathematics teacher and political prisoner, attempted to compile a list of Cubans who went missing while trying to flee Cuba. Cuban officials threatened him with arrest and a 15-year prison sentence if he continued to count the number of missing Cubans.

[ Full article here ]

https://thehill.com/opinion/international/3798177-why-cubans-leave/