FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 14, 2022
Elyssa Pachico | +1 503 347 23 29 | [email protected]
Myneilles Negron | +1 703 585 6727 | [email protected]
On October 12, the Biden administration announced new immigration policies for Venezuelans, which would see large numbers of Venezuelans deported back to Mexico and only a small, elite group granted the possibility of applying for asylum.
Political repression and economic collapse in Venezuela has driven 6 million Venezuelans to flee the country and seek asylum or other forms of protection across the Americas, including by crossing the U.S.-Mexico border. Under Biden’s new policies, the U.S. government will expel Venezuelans who cross the border back to Mexico under the inhumane Title 42 policy (previously, Venezuelans were not subject to Title 42, because as the U.S. government does not have a diplomatic relationship with the Maduro regime, it has no way to return nationals back to Venezuela and Mexico was not accepting them).
Additionally, the Biden administration will create a humanitarian parole program, which has been a demand by Venezuelan-American and migrant rights groups, including Alianza Americas. However, unlike a similar program created earlier this year for Ukrainians, the Venezuela program has a numerical cap: 24,000. (To put that number into context, it’s just 15 percent of the number of Venezuelans encountered by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at the southern border over the past 11 months). Additionally, there are multiple eligibility requirements that will dramatically limit the applicant pool: beneficiaries must have a “supporter” in the U.S. who can offer financial support, and post-October 12, cannot have “irregularly entered Mexico or Panama.”
In response to these new policies, Alianza Americas, a coalition of 53 migrant-led organizations fighting for equitable policies in 18 U.S. states, issued the following reaction:
“This is another example of a Biden immigration policy that suffers a bad case of Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde: from one angle, it looks humanitarian, but from another, it is ugly and abusive,” said Oscar Chacón, executive director of Alianza Americas. “Under this new policy, nearly all Venezuelan asylum seekers will be turned away. Connections to financial ‘supporters,’ or having migrated along a certain route, shouldn’t be a prerequisite for a person to apply and secure humanitarian protection.”
“The expansion of deportations under Title 42 to Mexico, constitutes an even more pronounced renunciation of U.S. government responsibilities when it comes to upholding asylum laws,” said Helena Olea, associate director for programs at Alianza Americas. “This humanitarian parole program for Venezuelans falls short of the wider reforms that we need to build a rights-respecting asylum system. At its core, the Biden administration remains focused on deporting asylum seekers back to danger, and outsourcing its obligations to Mexico.”