United States wants Canada to reimpose visas for Mexicans, fearing more asylum seekers are coming through the US – Canada border
The United States has asked Canada to reimpose visa requirements for Mexican nationals visiting Canada to curb the sharp increase in illegal crossings from Canada into the United States. Since Mexicans do not need a visa to travel to Canada, some fly into the country and then cross south illegally into the US.
US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) stopped 1,999 Mexicans trying to enter the US between ports of entry at the northern border in the first six months of 2023. Last year there were less than a thousand attempts, so more Mexicans are trying to come to the US through the Canadian border.
Unfortunately, some immigrants die doing so. In April 2023, Canadian police found six bodies in a marshy area of Quebec near Canada’s border with New York state.
Human smuggling networks are cashing in, moving people fleeing poverty and violence in Mexico and using Canada as a pitstop for the American dream.
Canada used to require Mexicans to have a Canadian visa, and the reason was to control the number of asylum seekers. However, in 2016 visa requirements were lifted.
Despite concerns from the US, the Canadian government says there are no plans to change the visa-free status for Mexican visitors.
In an attempt to slow down the number of migrants coming to the US from Mexico and other Latin American countries, the Biden administration has announced plans to establish immigration processing centers throughout Latin America. These centers are meant to allow people to apply to fly to the US legally and settle in not just the United States but also Canada and Spain.
Meanwhile, the Trump-era border policy, Title 42, which allowed US border officials to expel migrants and asylum-seekers on public health grounds quickly, is set to end on May 11. The administration plans to screen migrants seeking asylum at the border itself swiftly, quickly deport those deemed as not being qualified, and penalize people who cross illegally into the US or illegally through another country on their way to the US border. Those expelled would also be banned from re-entering the country for five years, unlike under Title 42, which didn’t prevent asylum seekers from attempting re-entry.