President Biden’s administration quietly announced on Wednesday that Venezuelans who enter the U.S. illegally will be “returned” to Mexico and that those seeking asylum must secure a sponsor, undergo a public safety screening and fulfill certain, as yet unspecified vaccination requirements, according to a statement put out by the Department of Homeland Security.

The policy is coming after New York City has buckled for months under the strain of migrants — many of them Venezuelans — streaming into the five boroughs in search of refuge.

So far this year, nearly 20,000 migrants have come to the Big Apple.

In that time, Mayor Adams has pleaded for assistance from the state and federal government to help relieve the pressure the influx of new arrivals has placed on the city’s homeless shelter system.

President Joe Biden and Mayor Eric Adams

Biden’s new policy — pieces of which were posted with little fanfare on the Department of Homeland Security’s website Wednesday — is similar to former President Donald Trump’s in that it allows for migrants to be sent back to Mexico if they enter the U.S. illegally.

How it differs from Trump’s policy is not yet entirely clear. The Department of Homeland Security did not immediately respond to a message.

What is clear, according to the Department of Homeland Security, is that the new policy seeks to establish a safer and more orderly process for people fleeing Venezuela and ease the pressure on cities like New York that have been taking in the migrants.

“These actions make clear that there is a lawful and orderly way for Venezuelans to enter the United States, and lawful entry is the only way,” said Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas in a written statement. “Those who attempt to cross the southern border of the United States illegally will be returned to Mexico and will be ineligible for this process in the future. Those who follow the lawful process will have the opportunity to travel safely to the United States and become eligible to work here.”

The new program will also establish new migration checkpoints along the southwestern border, target human smuggling rings and create a new process to lawfully allow up to 24,000 “qualifying” Venezuelans into the U.S.

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