Federal officials said on Thursday that the Biden administration would resume direct deportations to Venezuela to decrease the record number of Venezuelan migrants who have crossed into the United States illegally along the southern border in recent weeks.
The United States has not regularly deported people to Venezuela for years because of its tense diplomatic relationship with the socialist government of that nation, which is subject to U.S. sanctions owing to its human rights violations and authoritarian policies. However, the government has announced plans to resume immediate deportations of Venezuelans who illegally enter the United States and have no right to remain there.
The Department of Homeland Security released a statement saying the Venezuelan government has agreed to accept the return of its people but did not specify how often deportation flights would occur.
This policy adjustment attempts to stem the extraordinary influx of migrants headed for the United States from crisis-stricken Venezuela and other nations that have taken in millions of Venezuelan refugees, such as Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru.
Internal federal data indicates that in September, an all-time high of Venezuelans (approximately 50,000) crossed the U.S. southern border without authorization. That was about a fourth of all people apprehended by the Border Patrol that month.
Human rights advocates and progressive Democrats are anticipated to raise concerns about the resumption of deportations to Venezuela because of the South American country’s worsening economic and political circumstances, which may prevent some Venezuelans from making the journey to the U.S. border.
The dictatorial regime in Venezuela has caused an economic and social breakdown, leading to the most significant migration out of the Western Hemisphere in modern history. Almost 7 million people have fled the country in recent years, surpassing the number of refugees from neighboring countries like Syria and Ukraine.
How officials were able to persuade Venezuela to accept these deportations remains unclear. When asked if the United States was considering relaxing certain sanctions, an official replied that such a move would be contingent on the Venezuelan government’s ” concrete actions ” towards a “democratic solution.”
The representative stressed, “At this time, those steps have not yet been done, and we continue to enforce our sanctions.”