Eight months after it was announced, the 'Safe Mobility' plan is a joint effort between Joe Biden's government and four Latin American countries to curb undocumented immigration to the United States.
It was the Llanos family, a couple with two minor children who decided to embark on a journey through the Darien Jungle to the US's southern border with Mexico to seek asylum.
But the fear and uncertainty of the journey led the Llanos to abandon the long walk, some 5,000 kilometers between the border of Panama and El Paso, Texas, and seek help from the program, which allows immigrants to stay legal, safe and regular. A report by Univision National News in the United States explains.
In May last year, the Department of State (DOS) announced the launch of the scheme 'Safe Movement' In three Central American countries and one South American country, Colombia, Llanos sought asylum from the United States.
Launch of 'Safe Mobility' programme
The official notification of this scheme was released on May 11, 2023. “As an important step toward launching the Regional Processing Centers (RPC) initiative, our international partner organizations have launched the MovilidadSegura.org website,” the US State Department said that day. A statement.
He added that on the website interested persons can find information about the processes available through RPCs. Once fully operational, the “digital page will allow some people to request an appointment at RPCs” to request and process a refugee claim in the US.
The regional centers, announced by Biden in April, “consider thousands of people in the Western Hemisphere for resettlement through the United States Refugee Readmission Program (USRAP), a humanitarian organization that benefits and processes cases in 19 countries in the region.”
How the program works now
The program's website, safe mobility.org, explains that eligible refugees and immigrants “will be considered for refugee and humanitarian admission programs and other avenues for legal admission to the United States or other countries that may offer these opportunities.”
The program, he said, “helps guide refugees and migrants to legal routes and avoid the dangers associated with human mobility.”
Apart from the federal government, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and other relevant partners participate in the system, DOS says.
Schemes in force at the border
In line with plans to reduce undocumented immigration at the border, the Biden administration has implemented the following programs along the border with Mexico:
- Refugee resettlement: 'safe movement' may grant refugee status to persons who meet the definition of refugee under US law and who have specific humanitarian concerns for the US
- Humanitarian Parole: A two-year humanitarian visa program for immigrants from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela who have a sponsor in the United States.
- Family Reunification: For certain immigrants with an approved Form I-130. They get a visa to wait in the US for an available visa slot and a 'green card'.
More information on 'Safe Mobility'
In addition to offices in Colombia, the project operates in Costa Rica. Currently, it targets Cubans, Haitians, and Venezuelan nationals who were in Colombia on or before June 11, 2023, who have regular status or are in the process of regularization at the time of application, regardless of whether they entered regularly or irregularly. South American country.
UNHCR notes that migrants accessing the program must fill out a free online form to be considered and receive information about legal avenues to travel to the United States.
“Please note that occasionally the online form is temporarily unavailable for receiving applications. If the online form is closed while you are trying to apply, you can submit your application when the form is active again,” it warns.
Both government and international organizations participating in the program state that “we will review your application to determine if you meet the program requirements.” “After the initial review we will contact you to let you know if you will continue in the process or if you are not eligible,” they add.
“If you continue in the process, you can be scheduled for an in-person interview in Colombia. If you meet the requirements, you can travel to the United States with the support of this program,” he says.
Lawyers consulted by Univision Noticias warned that the waiting time for a place in the program could be “several months” and that everything depends on the annual refugee quota allocated by the president.
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