Everything To Know About New Migrant Program for Cuba, Nicaragua, Haiti

The Biden administration announced Thursday that it will dramatically intensify the expulsion of migrants from Cuba, Nicaragua and Haiti who present themselves illegally at the US-Mexico border. The administration also unveiled a new program to allow up to 30,000 migrants from those countries to live and work in the United States.

If they want to immigrate legally, migrants from all three countries — as well as Venezuelans, for whom a similar program has been in place since October — must have a sponsor in the United States who meets the requirements and is willing to provide financial and other assistance. Both migrants and their sponsors will need to pass a background check.

For now, a fully online process through a Customs and Border Patrol mobile app will allow migrants to schedule a time to go to a U.S. port of entry to request a waiver of deportation back to Mexico or their country. of origin under Title 42 public health regulation.

The Department of Homeland Security said it will publish a new rule that will require migrants heading to the United States to apply for asylum in a third country before reaching the US border. Anyone who does not would be barred from seeking asylum in the United States. (Immigration activists have criticized the proposal, saying it is similar to then-President Donald Trump’s “traffic ban” for immigrants, which was blocked by a federal appeals court in 2020.)

Migrants who arrive at the US-Mexico border, or the Florida coast, without obtaining advance authorization face expulsion to their countries or to Mexico. It is not clear how Cubans arriving by boat in the Florida Keys would be removed if an agreement is not reached with the Cuban government to take the migrants back.

For now, Cubans are being issued an “expedited removal order,” which activists say is “irregular” because it means the migrants haven’t had an opportunity to show they have a credible fear of persecution if returned to Cuba.

Haitians arriving in the Florida Keys and the US territory of Puerto Rico have also been returned to Haiti if they did not make landfall. Those who have exited the boats were processed to enter the United States, but it is not yet clear how the new policy will affect them if they come ashore, as happened Tuesday with a boat in Key Largo.

This is what you need to know about the new measures: How can a migrant apply to enter the United States?

Migrants will need to download the free CBP One mobile app to schedule appointments to appear at a port of entry to facilitate their safe and orderly arrival. The CBP One app is available in the Apple and Google App Stores, as well as at .

Does a migrant need to be at the border to schedule an appointment?

No. Access to the CBP One mobile app has been expanded to central Mexico in order to discourage migrants from congregating near the US-Mexico border in unsafe conditions.

What is the process after submitting an application?

Through the online process, individuals applying for advance authorization to travel to the United States will be considered on a case-by-case basis for a temporary grant of probation of up to two years, including employment authorization.

What are the requirements for a migrant to be taken into account?

All applicants must pass rigorous national security and public safety biometric and biographical checks; have a person in the United States who agrees to provide financial and other support, and meet immunization and other public health requirements.

When can a migrant request support?

Starting Friday, prospective sponsors can apply to the Department of Homeland Security to support eligible individuals through Individuals and representatives of organizations seeking to apply as sponsors must declare their financial support and pass a security background check to prevent exploitation and abuse.

Ports of entry where migrants will have to appear once they have an appointment:

  •  Arizona: Nogales
  • Texas: Brownsville, Hidalgo, Laredo, Eagle Pass and El Paso
  • California : Calexico and San Ysidro

What you should know about COVID-19:

During the inspection process, migrants must verbally attest to their COVID-19 vaccination status and provide, when requested, proof of COVID-19 vaccination in accordance with Title 19 vaccination requirements.

What happens if a migrant tries to enter the United States without authorization?

The people will either be returned to Mexico, which has agreed to accept 30,000 people a month, or to their country of origin.

How else can I propose to sponsor someone from Haiti, Cuba, Nicaragua or Venezuela?

Welcome.US is working on rapidly scaling its Welcome Connect technology platform to expand its functionality and be up and running by the end of January. Americans interested in sponsoring newcomers from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua or Venezuela can sign up now at Welcome.US to be added to the platform as soon as it is ready. Currently, the platform facilitates connections between potential sponsors in the United States and displaced Ukrainians .

This article is originally published on

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