(CNN) — The Biden administration will announce additional measures during the North American Leaders’ Summit on Tuesday in an aggressive effort to stop migrants from traveling to the US’s southern border.
The list of latest initiatives is unprecedented in the Western Hemisphere and is designed to control border crossings and create programs for legal migration to the United States, Mexico and Canada, according to a senior U.S. administration official.
But the success of those measures depends on whether migrants see those options as viable, especially as they rush to flee worsening conditions in their countries of origin.
During his presidency, Joe Biden faced migration patterns that posed unique challenges to the administration and strained federal and local resources. The issue has become a political thorn for the administration, drawing sharp criticism from both Republicans and Democrats, and has been a point of discussion with allies to the south, primarily Mexico.
Ahead of Tuesday’s summit, administration officials stressed the need for a regional response that shares responsibility for stemming the flow of migrants among partners in the hemisphere. Tuesday’s announcement is a reflection of that.
The Biden administration is expected to announce a virtual platform that will serve as a one-stop-shop for immigrants to find information about the legal pathways they are eligible for, whether they are in the United States, Mexico or Canada, and how to open a new resource. in the center of southern Mexico, said a senior administrative official.
“The United States, Mexico and Canada will commit to making it possible for immigrants to access our legal channels through a single platform,” a senior administration official told CNN.
The virtual portal acknowledges, in part, the challenges immigrants face in trying to identify legal pathways to the United States. Instead, people often turn to smugglers, who spread misinformation about U.S. policies, and travel north, a stumbling block for the Biden administration as it tries to discourage migrants from taking that route.
“It’s an experiment,” said a senior administration official, citing plans for some nationalities who want to come to the United States recently.
Construction of the portal is underway and is expected to be ready in the coming months.
“We are always competing with traffickers, so we think easy-to-use, easy-to-access virtual platforms are very important… but centers where people can go and know they can trust the people there. Information and admissions and even referrals based on interviews,” the official added.
As part of that effort, it is working with Mexico to open physical centers where immigrants can get information on how to apply for U.S. immigration, similar to the Migrant Resource Center launched in Guatemala. A new center will be established in the southern Mexican city of Tapachula, through which thousands of migrants cross the US-Mexico border.
“We know this is a transit location, so this center will help people stay where they are and apply from there,” said a senior executive.
National Security Council coordinator for strategic communications John Kirby said Monday that migration will be “a key topic of discussion” during this week’s summit.
“There is no doubt that migration will be the main topic of discussion here for the next 24, 36 hours. It’s clear on everyone’s mind here in the hemisphere,” Kirby told CNN’s Alisyn Camerota on Monday, citing Mexico’s recent pledge to accept thousands of non-Mexican immigrants who crossed the border illegally and did not apply to enter the U.S. through new programs.
Kirby said the leaders will also discuss the root causes of migration, citing Vice President Kamala Harris’ work on the issue and noting that the issue will be a major topic of conversation throughout the trip.
Tuesday’s summit builds on last year’s meeting in Los Angeles, where Western Hemisphere nations committed to the Los Angeles Declaration on Migration and Security. The summit was a point of contention between the United States and Mexico when President Andrés Manuel López Obrador rejected the meeting due to disagreements over who was invited. The conference was attended by Mexican officials.
The North American Leaders Summit marks the sixth month since that announcement.
“We have a very ambitious agenda, which is why the United States has put so many commitments on the table from the beginning that we continue to put pressure on other countries,” the senior administration official said, stressing that the challenge will not go unaddressed. Hand overnight.
“Music ninja. Analyst. Typical coffee lover. Travel evangelist. Proud explorer.”