U.S. seeks Canadian help to ease crowding at U.S.-Mexico border

MEXICO CITY, Jan 10 (Reuters) – The United States wants Canada to help deal with rising migrant numbers at the U.S.-Mexico border, a U.S. State Department spokesman said on Tuesday.

A possible trilateral deal with Canada, the United States and Mexico is already on the table as the three countries hold a summit of North American leaders in Mexico, spokeswoman Kristina Rosales told Reuters.

Rosales said the agreement will help thousands of people immigrate legally without putting their lives at risk in the hands of human traffickers.

“Canada has its own specific plan for asylum and immigration,” Rosales said, telling Reuters ahead of trilateral talks where the countries will discuss Canada’s participation.

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No such agreement was immediately made public after talks between U.S. President Joe Biden, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador concluded on Tuesday.

In fiscal year 2022, U.S. authorities detained 2.2 million migrants at the Mexican border, the most since World War II.

Rosales also said the U.S. is considering allowing more nationalities to enter the country by air while deporting those who enter by land under an order known as Title 42.

The order, launched in October against Venezuelans, was expanded last week to Cuban, Nicaraguan and Haitian migrants.

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Encounters of Venezuelans at the border fell by about 90 percent in December, and other migrants in the program are expected to experience similar declines.

“If we see that we have to increase the number of people eligible for humanitarian parole each month and include people of other nationalities, we will consider doing so,” Rosales added.

Mexico’s Lopez Obrador said on Tuesday the country “celebrated” the U.S. decision to grant humanitarian parole and he believed “the program will expand to other countries”.

Migrants arriving in the United States by sea from Caribbean countries such as Cuba and Haiti have increased significantly in recent months. Those arriving in the U.S. by sea are “unfortunately not eligible” for humanitarian parole, Rosales said.

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Rosales added that the U.S. government is looking at legal ways to expand immigration and stop would-be migrants from paying human traffickers.

“We want to broaden legal access so that people can apply directly from their mobile phone,” Rosales said.

Reporting by Lizbeth Diaz; Writing by Kylie Madry. Edited by Gerry Doyle

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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