Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Friday warned Central Americans not to make journeys to the United States without travel papers as the Biden administration deals with a surge in illegal immigrants on the southern border.
“The border is closed to irregular migration,” Blinken said in a virtual event with officials from El Paso and Mexico’s Ciudad Juarez. He said the United States will strictly enforce border laws.
“To anyone thinking about taking that journey, our message is: don’t do it,” he also stressed. “President Biden is committed to reforming our immigration system and ensuring safe, orderly, and humane processing at our border. Those things will take time.”
In recent weeks, President Joe Biden’s administration undid a number of Trump-era immigration policies that closed off immigration routes in the United States. Notably, the administration placed a halt on all new border wall construction.
“President Biden is committed to reforming our immigration system and ensuring safe, orderly, and humane processing at our border. Those things will take time,” Blinken said, according to Reuters.
On Wednesday, the president also did away with the April 2020 Proclamation 10014 that suspended entry into the United States for 60 days to foreigners who did not have a valid immigrant visa or official travel document.
Proclamation 10014 paused issuing new green cards that allowed for permanent residency to most foreigners looking to settle in the country. The proclamation had several exceptions, including for foreigners entering the country on an immigrant visa as a healthcare professional to work on alleviating the outbreak caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, which causes the disease COVID-19.
Biden said Wednesday that former President Donald Trump’s entry suspension “does not advance the interests of the United States.”
“To the contrary, it harms the United States, including by preventing certain family members of United States citizens and lawful permanent residents from joining their families here,” Biden added in his proclamation.
And last week, the Department of Homeland Security announced the United States, Canada, and Mexico agreed to keep their land borders locked down until at least March 21 due to the CCP virus pandemic. But White House press secretary Jen Psaki stated Thursday that there may be a plan to relax the restrictions around the border soon: “I do expect there will be more on this soon.”
Reuters contributed to this report.