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U.S. to Reinstate Deportation Flights for Venezuelan Migrants Amid Rising Influx

by Madison Thomas
5 comments
Deportation of Venezuelan migrants

The U.S. administration under President Joe Biden is set to recommence the deportation of Venezuelan migrants, who constituted the largest single demographic intercepted at the U.S.-Mexico border last month. This action is being taken as the number of arrivals from Venezuela continues to surge. Although two American officials confirmed that the process would begin imminently, they did not disclose specific timelines for the deportation flights. The officials, not authorized to publicly divulge the government’s plans, spoke to the Associated Press under the condition of anonymity.

The decision to restart deportation activities comes on the heels of an expansion in protective status for Venezuelans arriving in the United States. Individuals arriving prior to July 31 of this year would be eligible for such protections. This move aligns with President Biden’s broader strategy of not only creating legal avenues for immigration but also enforcing strict measures against illegal border crossings.

While the frequency of these deportation flights to Venezuela remains undisclosed, U.S. officials have indicated that like many other nations, Venezuela has been encouraged for some time to repatriate its citizens. This comes even as Cuba, another nation with strained relations with the U.S., announced earlier this year that it would begin receiving deportees on a limited basis.

Previously, some Venezuelans were repatriated via commercial airlines, albeit in limited numbers and often through intermediary countries. The Venezuelan government has announced an accord with the U.S. for a systematic and safe repatriation process. Venezuela’s foreign ministry commented through X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, attributing the mass migration to economic sanctions and blockades imposed on the country. They also indicated the initiation of a program to assist returning Venezuelans.

The latest U.S. action is an effort to address the burgeoning migrant crisis, as the Biden administration faces escalating pressure from both Republicans and Democratic mayors to take stronger measures to stem the flow of migrants. The announcement coincides with high-level meetings between U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and his counterparts in Mexico City, where migration remains a pivotal topic of discussion.

Alicia Bárcena, Mexico’s Foreign Affairs Secretary, disclosed that approximately 10,000 migrant encounters were recorded at the U.S.-Mexico border just this past Wednesday. She asserted that forceful actions would continue to be taken, including dismantling human trafficking networks. Secretary Blinken emphasized U.S. support for these efforts and spoke about training Mexican immigration officials to better identify and assist potential victims of human trafficking.

During his daily news briefing, Mexican President López Obrador emphasized the necessity for investment in the countries that migrants are fleeing from. He also criticized the Biden administration for waiving 26 federal laws in South Texas to expedite border wall construction, an action he had previously lauded Biden for avoiding.

In the backdrop of these immigration issues, the U.S. is also working with Mexico and other countries in the region to tackle security concerns, including the trafficking of synthetic opioids like fentanyl and arms smuggling.

Statistics released in September indicate that U.S. Border Patrol made 181,509 arrests at the Mexican border in August, representing a 37% increase from July. Efforts to involve Mexico and other countries further south in mitigating migration have had limited success.

Venezuela has been in a prolonged economic and political crisis that has led to a mass exodus, with approximately 7.3 million people forced to leave the country. The majority have settled in neighboring Latin American countries, but an increasing number are making their way to the United States.

The U.S. had previously suspended deportation flights to Venezuela primarily due to limited diplomatic engagement with the country. The Homeland Security Department issued a statement affirming the resumption of deportation flights, stating that the U.S. is committed to strict enforcement of its immigration laws.

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Contributions to this report were made by Balsamo and Long from Washington, along with Rebecca Santana in Washington and Fabiola Sánchez in Mexico City.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Deportation of Venezuelan migrants

What is the Biden administration’s latest action on Venezuelan migrants?

The Biden administration is preparing to resume deportation flights to Venezuela for migrants who have illegally crossed into the U.S. through the U.S.-Mexico border.

When will the deportation flights for Venezuelan migrants commence?

Although two U.S. officials confirmed that the deportations would start imminently, specific dates have not been disclosed.

How does this decision align with the Biden administration’s broader immigration strategy?

This decision is part of President Biden’s larger immigration strategy, which aims to create legal avenues for immigration while also enforcing strict measures against those who illegally enter the United States.

Are Venezuelans who arrived before a certain date still protected from deportation?

Yes, Venezuelans who arrived in the U.S. prior to July 31 of this year are eligible for protective status and will not be subjected to these deportation measures.

What is the Venezuelan government’s stance on this?

The Venezuelan government has reached an agreement with the U.S. for a safe and orderly repatriation process. They attribute the large scale migration to economic sanctions and blockades imposed on Venezuela.

How are U.S. and Mexican officials cooperating on migration issues?

High-level talks have been ongoing between U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Mexican officials. The discussions cover a range of topics, including the dismantling of human trafficking networks and assisted returns of migrants.

What are the current statistics on arrests at the U.S.-Mexico border?

According to figures released in September, U.S. Border Patrol made 181,509 arrests at the Mexican border in August, marking a 37% increase from July.

What has been the international response to Venezuela’s crisis?

Venezuela has been grappling with a prolonged economic, political, and humanitarian crisis that has led to a mass exodus of approximately 7.3 million people, most of whom have settled in neighboring Latin American countries.

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5 comments

Sara Williams October 6, 2023 - 12:00 am

so Venezuela agrees to take back its citizens, but what’s gonna happen to them once they’re back? Their economy is in shambles.

Reply
John Smith October 6, 2023 - 1:37 am

Whoa, resuming deportation flights, really? Seems like a mixed bag of policies from the Biden admin. One minute they’re granting protective status, the next they’re deporting.

Reply
Mike Davis October 6, 2023 - 7:52 am

High level talks with Mexico, huh? I’d love to be a fly on the wall in those meetings. Immigration is a hot topic, and it’s about time they coordinated better.

Reply
Emily Brown October 6, 2023 - 8:01 am

i can’t believe this! Why give people hope with protective statuses and then turn around to deport others. makes no sense.

Reply
Robert Johnson October 6, 2023 - 12:46 pm

Looks like the pressure from both sides of the aisle is getting to the administration. they need to do something about the border, but is this the right way?

Reply

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