US to take more refugees, starts talk with Spain, Canada

People familiar with the topic said on Wednesday that the Biden administration is in negotiations with Spain and Canada about absorbing additional Western Hemisphere refugees for resettlement, indicating probable promises that might be disclosed during next week’s Summit of the Americas.

The Spanish and Canadian governments are considering separate options, but no decisions have been taken, according to the sources, as President Joe Biden’s aides prepare to urge deeper regional cooperation on irregular migration when he welcomes fellow leaders in Los Angeles.

Given that the United States was dealing with a record number of migrant arrivals at the US-Mexico border, two of the individuals told media that the numbers under consideration for probable resettlement in Spain and Canada were low.

On the condition of anonymity, a US official acknowledged negotiations with Canada about taking in additional migrants, while another US source said the Biden administration hoped to use the hemispheric conference to persuade other nations to do the same.

If Spain agrees to take action, it will be taking refugees in addition to its long-standing practice of bringing in temporary Central American labor.

According to the source in Washington, Canada, which has a long history as a safe-haven country, is considering taking in more regional refugees as well as increasing the number of Haitian workers it takes in.

The White House deferred queries to the governments of Spain and Canada. A request for response from Canada’s immigration agency was not immediately returned. The Spanish authorities did not respond immediately.

One person familiar with the situation said it was unclear whether those whom Spain might agree to resettle would be from among asylum seekers who arrive at the US-Mexico border or whether they would be required to apply at US embassies and consulates in the region or through international refugee agencies.

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