Joe Biden Previews Goal for U.S. and Latin America to ‘Dramatically Expand’ Access to Legal Immigration

US President Joe Biden speaks during a meeting with Colombian President Ivan Duque on Marc
NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images

President Joe Biden previewed a future “declaration” to address the migrant crisis at the southern border of the United States during a meeting at the White House with the president of Colombia.

“It needs to dramatically expand access to resettlement and other legal pathways to migration,” he said.

Biden spoke about his migration expansion plan during a visit with Colombian President Iván Duque Márquez, telling reporters he wanted to sign a declaration at the “Summit of the Americas” in June in Los Angeles.

“That’s the best way in my view for us to live up to our collective values, to welcome immigrants and refugees, keep migrants safe and secure [in] all our countries,” he said.

It is unclear how significant the upcoming declaration will be, or whether it will have any legal ramifications, but it signals Biden’s latest thinking on his path forward on handling the border crisis.

Biden announced the United States would recognize Colombia as a “major non-NATO ally” and thanked them for “hosting the lions’ share” of the refugees in their region.

But he said the United States and other countries had to step up.

“Our hemisphere migration challenges cannot be solved by one nation or any one border. We have to work together,” Biden said, calling for a “collective” effort to move forward on a declaration.

“It’s an obligation for all of us,” he added.

The president said the declaration would also call for all parties to “aggressively pursue” criminals and smugglers taking advantage of the porous border of the United States.


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