By Gabriel Stargardter and Lisandra Paraguassu
RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) -The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has formally asked Brazil whether it would receive some Haitians camped along the U.S.-Mexico border hoping to enter the United States, according to two sources with knowledge of the request.
The petition from the IOM, a United Nations agency, comes as U.S. President Joe Biden faces mounting pressure to resolve yet another migration crisis. A massive flow of migrants has arrived at the U.S. southern border, sparking political headaches and logistical obstacles for the United States and Mexico.
Up to 14,000 mostly Haitians were camped just north of the Rio Grande river this month as they attempted to enter the United States. Washington has begun flying some back to Haiti, while Mexico has urged others to give up their U.S. dreams and seek asylum in the south of the country.
The IOM asked that Brazil receive Haitians who have a Brazilian child, or who have passed through Brazil before entering Mexico on their journey north, the two sources said. They said the first request was more likely to be approved. One of the sources said the second one would require more analysis.
Without mentioning the IOM request, Brazil’s foreign ministry said in a statement that “the topic was discussed in conversations between authorities from different countries and is being analyzed in light of current legislation.”
The IOM, via its Mexico office, said it has “a voluntary return program, assisting migrants of various nationalities, and the implementation of this program requires an agreement among the countries involved.” It gave no further details.
(Writing by Gabriel Stargardter; editing by Diane Craft)