MEXICO CITY, Jan 10 (Reuters) – The United States is asking Canada to help it deal with a growing number of migrants at the border with Mexico, a State Department spokeswoman said on Tuesday.
A possible trilateral deal with Canada, the United States and Mexico was on the table as the three countries gathered for a summit of North American leaders in Mexico, spokeswoman Cristina Rosales told Reuters.
The deal will help thousands of people immigrate through legal channels without risking their lives at the hands of traffickers, Rosales said.
“Canada has its own specific programs on asylum and migration,” Rosales told Reuters ahead of the tripartite talks, where the countries will discuss Canada’s involvement.
No such deal was immediately made public after talks between US President Joe Biden, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador ended on Tuesday.
U.S. authorities apprehended 2.2 million migrants at the border with Mexico in fiscal year 2022, the most since World War II.
Rosales also said the United States is considering allowing more nationalities to enter the country by air, expelling those who crossed overland under the so-called Title 42 order.
The order, which began in October for Venezuelans, was extended last week to Cuban, Nicaraguan and Haitian migrants.
Encounters of Venezuelans at the border fell by about 90% in December, and similar declines are expected for other migrants in the program.
“If we see that we need to increase the number of people eligible for humanitarian parole each month to include other nationalities, we will consider that,” Rosales added.
Mexico’s Lopez Obrador said Tuesday that the nation “celebrates” the US decision to grant humanitarian parole and said he believes “this plan will benefit other countries.”
The United States has seen a significant increase in the number of migrants arriving by sea from Caribbean countries such as Cuba and Haiti in recent months. Rosales said those arriving in the United States by sea “unfortunately do not qualify” for humanitarian parole.
Rosales added that the U.S. government is trying to expand legal immigration and discourage potential migrants from paying traffickers.
“We want to expand legal channels so people can apply directly from their cell phones,” Rosales said.
Report by Lizbeth Diaz; Posted by Kylie Madry. Edited by Gerry Doyle
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