The Biden administration is working to provide Venezuelan migrants a legal pathway to enter the country amid a surge in illegal encounters, according to CNN.
The plan would allow Venezuelan migrants with ties to the U.S. to apply to enter the country at a port of entry, instead of crossing the southern border illegally, CNN reported Tuesday, citing four anonymous sources familiar. The approved migrants would then be paroled into the country and allowed to work immediately.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recently warned of a surge in Venezuelans crossing the southern border illegally due to a “perception that once they reach the border, they have a greater chance of remaining in the United States,” according to an internal memorandum obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation.
“Deteriorating opportunities for Venezuelans in Latin America coupled with changing immigration policies will likely increase Venezuelans’ decision to travel to the U.S. southwest border (SWB) via the Darien Gap and Mexico,” the memo stated. “Venezuelans may also be pulled to the United States by the perception that once they reach the border, they have a greater chance of remaining in the United States, based on a misunderstood perception of temporary protected status.”
Venezuelan migrants who come to the U.S. illegally are often paroled and released into the country with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) monitors, according to CNN.
Mexico is also expected to take Venezuelan migrants under Title 42, the public health order used to quickly expel certain illegal migrants, CNN reported, citing two anonymous sources.
One illegal migrant awaiting his pending asylum case adjudication, Bleisker, and another legal immigrant, Elio, recently told the DCNF that the current path for Venezuelans isn’t “humane.”
“I think the current policies, they can benefit people like Bleisker, he’s a young person and I believe has very good intentions in coming here, but it could also benefit someone completely different,” Elio said. “It can benefit a criminal.”
“They don’t have any documents to tell if they are criminals or not,” Bleisker added.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) encountered 153,905 Venezuelan migrants at the southern border between October 2021 and August 2022, while the agency saw 48,678 the previous fiscal year.
“Failing communist regimes in Venezuela, Nicaragua, and Cuba are driving a new wave of migration across the Western Hemisphere, including the recent increase in encounters at the southwest U.S. border,” CBP Commissioner Chris Magnus said in a September statement.
White House officials and 19 leaders of the Western Hemisphere discussed the influx of Venezuelan migrants in September, according to CNN.
“We do find that a lack of coordination leads to more migrants being exploited,” a senior administration official told CNN of the meeting. “There’s consensus that there’s value in us working more closely and trying to synchronize our policies.”
Neither DHS nor the White House responded to the DCNF’s requests for comment.
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