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Illegal Border Crossings by Venezuelans Plunge in the Face of New Policies


WASHINGTON – The number of Venezuelans who illegally crossed the southwestern U.S. border over the past week has dropped dramatically since the Biden administration announced policies targeting the influx, administration officials said late in the day. The sixth day.

The new policies, announced last week, causing many Venezuelan migrants to be deported and setting up a narrow legal path for thousands of others to stay in the country temporarily. The initiatives are launched in the hope of reducing the number of people crossing the border illegally, which has reached record levels under the Biden administration. Republicans blamed President Biden’s immigration policies on the spike in illegal border crossings.

A large number of Venezuelans trying to escape poverty and political instability have made their way to the United States over the past year. Most have been released into the country temporarily to face deportation proceedings in immigration court; Washington was unable to repatriate them because of strained diplomatic relations with Caracas.

Last week, before the authorities announced the new policies, about 1,200 Venezuelans a day crossed the southwestern border illegally, officials said. In recent days, that number has dropped to about 150 Venezuelans a day. Administration officials spoke on condition of anonymity Friday to describe the program’s initial results.

The number of people crossing the border illegally dropped sharply and was immediately good news for the Biden administration as it tried to deflect Republican attacks ahead of the midterm elections. But immigration advocates who campaigned for Mr. Biden in 2020 have criticized the measures the administration has taken on Venezuelans, which expands the use of a Trump-era public health rule already in place. at the beginning of the pandemic and launched. Border officials have the authority to quickly deport migrants who cross the border illegally, including asylum seekers.

Under the new deportation policy, Venezuelans who cross the border illegally will be deported to Mexico.

“At its core, the Biden administration remains focused on deporting asylum seekers back to danger and outsourcing their obligations to Mexico.” Oscar Chacón, executive director of the advocacy group Alianza Americas, said in a statement last week. “This is yet another example of Biden immigration policy getting in the way of Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde: From one perspective, it looks humane, but from another, it is ugly and abuse.”


What we consider before using anonymous sources. Do the sources know the information? What is their motivation to tell us? Have they proven reliable in the past? Can we verify the information? Even if these questions are satisfied, The Times still uses anonymous sources as a last resort. Reporters and at least one editor know the source’s identity.

The authorities have promised a humanitarian amnesty to 24,000 qualified Venezuelans in a program similar to what was offered to Ukrainians fleeing the Russian invasion, albeit on a large scale. much more – there is no limit to the number of Ukrainians that can apply. Humanitarian pardons are allowed to stay in the United States for two years as well as work. Venezuelans already in the country and facing deportation are not eligible for the parole program.

So far, the Department of Homeland Security has approved 150 of the applications it has received for humanitarian pardons, an official said. Officials did not say how many Venezuelans have applied so far.

More than 6.8 million Venezuelans have fled their country since 2015, escaping poverty and political instability, according to the United Nations. Most have gone to other South American countries.

Over the past year, more than 150,000 Venezuelans have crossed the southwestern U.S. border after a dangerous and deadly trip across the country The Darien Gap in Panama and through Central America and Mexico. Many are hoping for asylum. Officials on Friday said the number of Venezuelans passing through Darien distance has also decreased since the new policies were announced.

The spike in illegal migration at the Southwest border is part of a global movement at a time of crisis. more people displaced around the world than ever before.

The Biden administration has released more one million immigrants, including Venezuelans, entering the country while awaiting removal proceedings in immigration court, which can take years. The administration has deported people who crossed the border nearly two million times since Mr. Biden took office, including those who migrated to the United States to seek asylum they were legally entitled to claim.

For months, the Republican governors of Arizona and Texas have been pushing for some migrants to be released from border detention to Democratic enclaves, mostly along the East Coast — mostly along the East Coast. feebleness Washington DCand New York. Both cities have struggled to meet the needs of so many migrants. The mayors of both cities have declared states of emergency, moves that can’t deny Republican accusations that illegal border crossings along the Southwest border are out of control.

Administration officials said Friday that the reduction in illegal Venezuelans crossing the border has helped some cities along the southwestern border as well as Washington and New York.

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