The Biden administration announced it reached an agreement with the Mexican government to address the “humanitarian situation caused by unprecedented migration flows” that is expected once the immigration policy Title 42 ends in May.
The five-point plan comes after U.S. Homeland Security Advisor Liz Sherwood-Randall met with Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on Tuesday, according to statements from the two countries.
According to the new agreement, Mexico will continue to accept migrants coming from four countries—Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela—after they are sent back from the United States. Additionally, Mexico agreed to receive up to 10,000 individuals from Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador who have family in the U.S. and are eligible to work there.
Originally implemented in January, Mexico agreed to accept up to 30,000 migrants per month from the four countries after the Biden administration agreed to accept the same number of migrants through its parole program, which allows migrants to apply for asylum from overseas and grants them a temporary work permit. The new agreement would be a continuation of the previous one.
“The status quo on the ground won’t change much, but from a legal perspective this is a SEISMIC shift,” Aaron Reichlin-Melnick, policy director at the American Immigration Council, said on Twitter.
“At no point in U.S. history has there ever been another country which would take large numbers of deportations from the U.S. of people who aren’t nationals of that country,” he added.
The announcement comes as the Biden administration works to address the expected rise of migrants crossing the border after the Trump-era immigration policy Title 42 ends on May 11.
During the past 10 days alone, the number of migrant apprehensions at the border has skyrocketed, with more than 73,000 migrants crossing the border. More than 22,220 undocumented migrants were apprehended in a period of 72 hours alone.
The measures the Biden administration has taken to secure the border include deploying U.S. troops to the southern border, tightening restrictions on which immigrants can apply for asylum, and opening processing centers in Guatemala and Colombia.