IOM, UNHCR and UNICEF say U.S.-Mexico migration agreement is “an encouraging development”

The International Organization for Migration (IOM), the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) have assured Friday that the new application system proposed by the United States and Mexico for the entry of displaced Venezuelans into U.S. territory is an “encouraging development” to facilitate “safe migration”.

Thus, they have pointed out that they are waiting for “more details” on the implementation of this new measure, while stressing that these channels “may be essential to provide alternatives to irregular and dangerous movements and an effective way to promote an equitable sharing of responsibilities.”

“Access to safe territory for asylum seekers is a cornerstone of the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and international refugee law,” the organizations recalled in a joint statement.

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Despite this, IOM, UNHCR and UNICEF have explained that they remain “deeply concerned” about the “continuing” restrictions on access to asylum for persons of different nationalities under Title 42.

In doing so, they have called on the parties to “urgently” end this provision, as many individuals “subject to these measures since March 2020 have been sent to border communities with significant security challenges, limited support networks, and inadequate shelter capacities, making their return to Mexico dangerous and unsustainable.”

Title 42 is a public health provision pushed by the previous U.S. Administration, presided over by Donald Trump, that authorizes the collective removal of any migrant and asylum seeker who attempts to cross U.S. land borders without an individual assessment of their circumstances and protection needs.

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Under the immigration agreement signed between the parties, the United States will issue 24,000 work visas annually to Venezuelans arriving in the country by plane to join the U.S. labor market, for which they will have a period of two years. In addition, Washington will be able to deport Venezuelans who have entered the country illegally to Mexico.

On the other hand, Mexico will receive 65,000 visas for temporary non-agricultural workers, of which 20,000 will be destined for people from Central America and Haiti. The rest will be for citizens of Venezuelan origin.

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