It is a balancing act to which the American president has lent himself.

Joe Biden tried Thursday to send a message combining firmness and humanity in the face of the record arrivals of migrants at the border with Mexico, a politically perilous subject in the United States.

The Democrat promised to fix a "broken" immigration system, in a speech at the White House, while acknowledging that this "difficult" problem would not be solved "overnight".

On the one hand, he castigated “extreme” Republicans, accusing them of “demagogy” in the face of the migration crisis, and accusing them of blocking his requests for funding to deal with the problem.

“We can secure our border and fix immigration policy so that it is orderly, safe, and humane, we can do all of this without extinguishing the flame of freedom that has brought generations of immigrants to America,” he launched.

But his administration has nevertheless announced "new consequences" for migrants who cross the border illegally: the United States will more often resort to immediate expulsions, accompanied by a ban on new entry into the territory for five year.

More than 230,000 arrests were still recorded in November at the southern border of the United States, a record level.

The White House, however, also said that up to 30,000 skilled migrants would instead be allowed to enter the United States each month from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua and Venezuela, the four countries from which the majority come. migrants.

These arrivals will however have to be made by plane so as not to add to the workload of the border guards on the ground, and within the framework of a legal process.

No withdrawal of the “Title 42” measure

Faced with constant criticism from his opposition, but also from associations for the defense of migrants, Joe Biden, who plans to run for a second term, finally seems determined to take up the subject.

So far, his administration has been mostly content to send migrants back to Mexico based on a measure put in place by his Republican predecessor Donald Trump during the pandemic.

In the name of the health crisis, it makes it possible to immediately turn back any illegal alien intercepted at the border, including potential asylum seekers.

This measure, dubbed "Title 42", is the subject of an intense judicial guerrilla war whose epilogue will be known in June at the Supreme Court of the United States.

The Biden administration, aware that lifting this measure will further encourage immigration candidates, is calling for funds to recruit border staff as well as judges specializing in asylum.


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