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Colombia asks for legal status for its citizens already in U.S. & More Trending News

Colombia desires the Biden administration to grant momentary legal status to its citizens now residing in the United States, noting its personal efforts to handle regional migration by internet hosting 2 million Venezuelans who fled their properties.

Gustavo Petro, who was elected Colombia’s first leftist president in June, is dedicated to the “incredibly generous policies” of his predecessor, which incorporates momentary status for 1.8 million individuals who fled neighboring Venezuela, stated Luis Alberto Murillo Urrutia, Colombia’s ambassador to the U.S.

But the diplomat requested the United States for assist, saying that in addition to Venezuelans who keep and work, greater than 80,000 migrants cross by Colombia annually on their strategy to different international locations.

In a letter to U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, he asks President Biden to grant Colombians already in the U.S. a type of momentary status known as Deferred Enforced Departure.

“Migration is a regional issue that should be addressed under the principle of shared responsibility, strengthening regional cooperation to ensure migratory regularization,” Murillo Urrutia wrote in a letter dated Nov. 17 and launched Tuesday by Colombian officers.

That language echoes an settlement that Biden struck in June in Los Angeles amongst Western Hemisphere international locations, together with Colombia below then-President Iván Duque. “The Los Angeles Declaration” was billed as a roadmap for international locations to host giant numbers of migrants and refugees.

The White House and Homeland Security Department had no instant remark late Tuesday on Colombia’s request.

It is unclear what number of Colombians reside in the United States with out legal status. The Migration Policy Institute estimated 171,000 in 2019, however that was earlier than tens of 1000’s arrived on the U.S. border with Mexico this 12 months, a lot of them launched to pursue their circumstances in immigration court docket.

U.S. authorities have stopped Colombians 131,890 occasions on the Mexican border through the first 10 months of this 12 months, together with 17,195 occasions in October, a pointy enhance that has made them one of many largest nationalities on the border. Few have been topic to Trump-era asylum restrictions, which have largely utilized to migrants that Mexico agrees to take — Guatemalans, Hondurans, El Salvadorans and, extra lately, Venezuelans, in addition to Mexicans.

Murillo Urritia stated there are practically 2 million Colombians residing in the United States, with out elaborating on their immigration status. Many fled decades-old conflicts that he stated the brand new authorities is dedicated to ending below 2016 peace accords.

Last week, the Colombian authorities and the National Liberation Army resumed peace talks after a roughly four-year hiatus throughout which the rebels have expanded the territory the place they function.

“For more than 60 years, hundreds of thousands of Colombian citizens have been forced to leave the country because of the conflict seeking to rebuild their lives, many of the more recently arrived still remain vulnerable and unprotected in the United States,” Murillo Urrutia wrote.

The Biden administration has prolonged momentary status for some international locations and added Afghanistan, Ukraine, Myanmar, Cameroon and Venezuela, reversing a Trump-era development to chop again on protections for these already in the United States.

The Colombian diplomat stated his authorities’s aim “is for our people to return to Colombia in a dignified manner if they choose to or adjust their immigration status in the United States if they have the legal avenues to do so.”

Spagat reported from San Diego.

Colombia asks for legal status for its citizens already in U.S.

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Colombia asks for legal status for its citizens already in U.S.

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