The United States on Wednesday announced new measures to control Venezuelan immigration: a program that grants two years of legal status to those arriving by plane and immediate expulsion of most who cross the border through Mexico.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has reported the creation of a new immigration exemption for Venezuelans, similar to what already exists for citizens of Ukraine, that grants two-year temporary status to those who have a sponsor in the USA.
In parallel, the Department of Homeland Security will return to Mexico the majority of Venezuelans intercepted after crossing the southern border; The expulsions will be carried out under Title 42, a public health regulation imposed at the start of the pandemic and inherited from the administration of former President Donald Trump (2017-2021).
In a press call, a US government official said the measures are aimed at “reducing the number of people arriving at the border” irregularly and creating a “more organized” immigration process for Venezuelans fleeing the “humanitarian and economic crisis in their country.” .
Under this immigration program, which has excluded deportees from the United States in the past five years or people who entered Panama or Mexico illegally, the US government will initially accept 24,000 people, the official said.
To apply to the program, interested Venezuelans must demonstrate that they have a sponsor in the United States who can demonstrate that they have the financial resources for the period the immigrants will reside in the country.
In addition, recipients must pass a “national security and public safety” examination, the Department of Homeland Security said in a statement.
The US announcement comes amid an increase in the arrival of Venezuelans at the border with Mexico. Between October 2021 and August this year, more than 150,000 Venezuelans were arrested on the US southern border, compared to 50,499 in the same period last year.
More than 6.1 million Venezuelans have left their country, in the second largest migration crisis in the world, second only to Syria, according to the International Refugee Organization.
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