By MARK LORENZANA
The Mexican government will accept up to 24,000 Venezuelan migrants expelled from the United States.
Under the agreement announced last week by U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration, Venezuelans who walk or swim across the southern border of the United States will be deported, and any Venezuelan who enters Mexico or Panama illegally will not be eligible to enter the United States.
Another 24,000 Venezuelans, however, will be accepted at several U.S. airports, similar to how Ukrainians have been admitted to the United States since Russia’s invasion in February of this year.
According to a Mexican official, who spoke to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity, the government of Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) demanded that the United States admit a Venezuelan for humanitarian reasons for each Venezuelan expelled to Mexico. In this agreement, if the Biden administration receives 24,000 Venezuelans, Mexico would not accept more than 24,000 Venezuelans deported from the United States.
The official revealed to the AP that the U.S. government is using a Trump-era guideline known as Title 42 — which Biden’s own Justice Department is fighting in court — to deny Venezuelans fleeing their country the opportunity to apply for asylum at the border.
The program is similar to one launched a few months ago for Ukrainians, which offers citizens fleeing the Russian invasion the possibility of arriving by air in the United States by applying from their country of origin or from a third nation, but denies entry to those who arrive at the land border.
The Biden administration says the policy seeks to ensure a “legal and orderly” way for Venezuelans to enter the United States.