US immigration authorities have indicated that the program popularly known as “parole” – which allows a person in the United States to sponsor the migrant and is granted a work visa for two years – has caused a drop in the number of people arriving at the border with Mexico with the intention of entering illegally.
United States delivered 29,000 humanitarian travel permits for Cuban citizens from sponsors since a new policy began in January that authorized the use of this mechanism to try to bring order to the migratory flow of people from the island and after months of record arrivals of Cubans at the border northern Mexico.
“We have made a lot of progress over the past few weeks and months. to face the migratory challenge that we see at our border” said the acting undersecretary for border policy and immigration of the United States Department of Homeland Security, Blas Nuñez-Neto, during a videoconference dedicated to the migratory situation of Cubans.
“But we also recognize that it is too early to draw definitive conclusions. or predict what will happen in the next few weeks,” he said.
The official also pointed out that new arrangements for family reunification will be announced in the coming weeks, a process that is long overdue for the island’s citizens after nearly four years of semi-paralyzed consular services and that they have only begun to normalize in recent months amid rising political tensions between Cuba and the United States.
Núñez-Neto said that globally there has been a slowdown in the number of people found at the border with Mexico since the clearance of Title 42 on May 12 and after toughening entry requirements and penalties for those intending to cross illegally.
The reduction in general would reach 70% and We went from 11,000 people a day meeting immigrants to around 4,000, detailed the American official.
On January 5, U.S. authorities launched a program popularly called “Parole” for travel permits for Venezuelan, Nicaraguan, Haitian, and Cuban citizens, in which they had to apply before reaching the southern border and for which a person in the United States sponsored the migrant, resulting in a two-year work permit. At that time, they were allocated 30,000 monthly visas without specifying the amount per country.
Until the implementation of this policy, Cubans reached the border with Mexico – in many cases after making a dangerous journey from Nicaragua, where they arrived without visas – and were allowed to enter American territory. Their situation normalized a year later when they took advantage of the adjustment law, a rule from the 1960s that grants you benefits as political refugees.
Now, in case you try to enter without pre-qualified authorization, Cubans can be expelled immediately.
Likewise, when they spend a year in the United States with these “words”, Cubans can apply for their residence thanks to the law of adjustment, an opportunity that other nationalities do not have.
According to statistics from United States border officials, in fiscal year 2021-2022 – which began in October 2021 and ended in September 2022 – officials They had a record 224,000 encounters with Cuban migrants on the border with Mexico. In October 2022, there were 29,878; in November, 35,881 and in December, 44,064.
The Coast Guard also intercepted 6,182 Cubans attempting to arrive by sea during the same benchmark exercise to which 4,795 were added in the following three months.
The record migration coincided with a worsening economic crisis on the island and commodity shortages, accompanied by tougher US sanctions.
“We know very well that the conditions causing the historic migration that we see, not only at our borders, but throughout the Western Hemisphere prevail and that coyotes and traffickers will continue to spread rumors to attract migrants” Nuñez-Neto said.