EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — President Biden is expected to be in El Paso this Sunday, to see what’s happening on the border firsthand and meet with local leaders.
Ahead of the visit President Biden told migrants from Venezuela, Nicaragua, Cuba and Haiti to not show up at the U.S.-Mexico Border as he announced a new parole program for migrants to apply and seek asylum online.
The program will allow 30,000 migrants from each of those four countries to come to the U.S. after applying online.
The Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas spoke out about the program on Thursday ahead of President Biden’s visit.
“Individuals who are provided a safe orderly and lawful path to the United States are less likely to risk their lives traversing thousands of miles in the hands of ruthless smugglers, only to arrive at our southwest border and face the legal consequences of unlawful entry,” said Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas.
However, the Executive Director for the Hope Border Institute brought up concerns over the new program which he says will require migrants to wait where they are, apply online, and then fly to the United States.
“Those fleeing to Ciudad Juarez and El Paso rarely have any choice but to migrate by land and what we are talking about with this new program is effectively a blanket transit band throughout Latin America,” said Dylan Corbett the Executive Director of Hope Border Institute.
Ahead of President Biden’s visit to El Paso, the community continues to see migrants. Many of them from Venezuela who are still subject to expulsion under Title 42 camping in Downtown El Paso.
“The way this program works, one must have a lawful sponsor in the united states who agrees to sponsor you to get here, then that person has to undergo rigorous background checks and apply from outside of the united states and not cross the border illegally in the meantime,” said President Joe Biden on Thursday.
Over at the Rescue Mission of El Paso where hundreds of migrants are staying, the executive director hopes President Biden takes time to speak with migrants during his visit.
“I would love for the president to swing by and see what we are doing here, let him meet the people who are here let them hear their stories… whether that’s in his agenda, we’ll see on Sunday,” said Blake Barrow the Executive Director, Rescue Mission of El Paso.