The United States and Colombia have agreed to launch a six-month pilot program with the aim of facilitating regular migration to the North American country and other nations, such as Spain and Canada, the White House reported this Sunday.
According to a White House statement, migrants will be able to make an appointment as of June 19 so that their cases can be evaluated and see if they can access programs that allow them to reunite with their families or obtain temporary work permits.
These appointments will take place in what the White House has called “safe mobility offices,” specialized centers whose location in Colombian territory has not yet been made public.
It is also unknown how many appointments will be available at these “safe mobility offices,” which will be jointly managed by the US and Colombian governments.
The announcement comes after a meeting held yesterday Saturday at the White House between the Colombian foreign minister, Álvaro Leyva, and the Colombian ambassador to the US, Luis Gilberto Murillo, with the “number two” of the White House National Security Council, Jon Finer, and the secretary of the US Department of Homeland Security, Alejandro Mayorkas.
Neither the US nor the Colombian Executive had previously reported on this meeting, in which both parties decided to start the pilot program as of June 19, as the White House announced this Sunday.
In the meantime, early of the month, the Governments of the United States and Guatemala announced that appointments for their immigration program would be available starting tomorrow, Monday, June 12.
The start of these pilot programs comes after a month ago the application of the so-called Title 42 was suspended, which allowed the automatic deportation of migrants to Mexico without giving them the opportunity to request asylum and with the argument that it was necessary isolating the country due to the pandemic.
In April, before the suspension of Title 42, the United States announced the opening of centers in Colombia and Guatemala in order to facilitate regular migration and stop the massive arrival of migrants, many of them from Venezuela, Haiti or Central American countries.
Spain and Canada have also announced that they will welcome some people who need to leave their countries of origin.
In fact, Spain already has circular migration agreements with several Latin American countries, such as the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Colombia, Honduras and Guatemala, which allow between 2,000 and 3,000 nationals of those countries to work temporarily in Spain, especially in the agricultural sector, among others.