March 21, 2023

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Biden offers to take in 24,000 Venezuelan immigrants and agree to return evacuees to Mexico | International

The US Department of Homeland Security has reached an agreement with Mexico to reduce the number of people crossing the southwest border. The U.S. pledges to “create a more orderly and secure process for people fleeing the humanitarian and economic crisis in Venezuela,” with an initial group of 24,000, but also agrees with Mexico to deport irregular border crossers.

Venezuelans who enter the United States without permission will be immediately deported back to Mexico. This action does not apply to those who entered before the notification. U.S. government sources explained in a call with reporters that the agreement aims to address the most severe forms of irregular migration and help reduce pressure on cities and states that receive these people. “We believe that the best way to address irregular migration is to create opportunities for people to arrive in a safe and orderly way,” the sources said.

“Our comprehensive effort to reduce irregular immigration of Venezuelans includes a new process to bring 24,000 Venezuelans to the United States legally and safely,” the Department of Homeland Security says, though it could consider expanding the program. The future, the future. The U.S. will not implement this process unless Mexico continues its parallel effort to accept the return of Venezuelans crossing the border irregularly, avoiding this route.

The 24,000-spot program would allow U.S. residents to apply and request work authorization on behalf of a Venezuelan citizen visiting the country for up to two years, government officials explained. The US administration will provide more details in the coming days, but it is important to prove that you have a livelihood or local support necessary to survive.

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This is similar to the model used to order the immigration of Ukrainians after the Russian invasion. For now, this applies only to Venezuelan migrants, who have made up the majority of arrivals in recent months. Immigrants do not need to travel directly from Venezuela to the United States. Actually there are currently no flights between the two countries.

A political weapon

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Republican governors used the influx of immigrants as a political weapon. Buses (and planes) with immigrants have been repeatedly sent to cities with Democratic mayors, such as Washington, New York and Chicago. The figure of 24,000 migrants is far less than the flow of more than 150,000 people that should have been controlled last year.

In addition, it threatens to suffocate people who have already started their journey from Venezuela but have yet to cross the border. U.S. government officials say they will no longer be able to take part in legal proceedings against illegal entrants into Mexico and Panama, which they say want to avoid dangerous crossings like the one in the Darien forest between Panama and Colombia.

“People who try to cross the border illegally will be sent back to Mexico and will not benefit from this process in the future. Those who follow the legal process will have the opportunity to safely travel to the United States and work there,” the Department of Homeland Security says, referring to the Mexican government’s explanations of what happens to Venezuelans who return after crossing the border. .

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“Nearly four times as many Venezuelans attempted to cross our southern border than last year, putting their lives at the hands of ruthless smuggling organizations. Meanwhile, irregular migration from northern Central America has dropped by a quarter from last year’s level,” the Department of Homeland Security says.

The economic, political and social crisis in Venezuela has caused millions of people to flee the country in recent years, given the conditions of poverty and deprivation experienced in what has become the richest country in South America.

More restrictions

At the same time, the United States and Mexico are strengthening coordinated law enforcement efforts to target human trafficking organizations and bring them to justice. The campaign includes new immigration checkpoints, additional resources and personnel, joint work with human trafficking organizations, and expanded information on transit points, hotels, hideouts, and gathering places.

The initiative aims to improve border security by reducing the number of Venezuelan nationals attempting to enter the United States irregularly. It grew out of the United for Ukraine (U4U) project, which slowed border flows by creating an orderly process for the entry of Ukrainians fleeing the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

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