Reports say the reforms would deprive migrants of the chance to seek asylum in the US if they crossed into the US from Mexico without permission.
But President Biden also said that up to 30,000 people a month from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua and Venezuela could legally come if they meet a range of conditions, including finding a sponsor and showing they can afford an airfare.
UNHCR spokesman Boris Cheshirkov told journalists in Geneva that while the UN agency welcomed expanded safe and regular access to the US for some, the new measures “should not prevent people who have been forced to flee from exercising their basic human right to security.” Search”.
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Due to the “multifaceted” nature of the government’s announcement, UNHCR is seeking additional details and analyzing the likely impact of the measures, said Mr. Cheshirkov, which would allow an “unprecedented number of people” of the four nationalities to enter.
In addition to the well-being of thousands already displaced from Latin and Central America, the agency expressed concern over the extension of the controversial COVID pandemic emergency “Title 42” health restriction order, to displace Cubans, Haitians and Nicaraguans without weighing the dangers they fled or the risks and hardships many of them will face in Mexico.
UNHCR had consistently called for the issue to be lifted, and the issue has sparked a major US court case, with the Supreme Court ruling in late December that policies that allow migrants to be denied entry at the border on health grounds should remain provisional.
“What we reiterate is that this is not in line with the norms of refugee law and that in order to establish a link between safe and legal routes that have been announced and of course we welcome the expansion of those on the one hand that are accessible are for some people with restrictions on the right to apply for asylum for many more people who do not qualify for these pathways,” said Mr. Cheshirkov.
Seeking asylum is a fundamental human right, the agency stressed.
UNHCR will continue to work with the US and other governments to expand safe routes and develop protections and solutions for asylum seekers – in line with international standards, the spokesman said.