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Deportation flights reduce Venezuelan border crossings by half as refugees sent back to communism

The new figures comes from the Customs and Border Patrol (CBP), which report a 46% drop in Venezuelan arrivals

 Migrantes deportados
Migrantes deportados | EFE

November 15, 2023 7:10am

Updated: February 23, 2024 9:01am

The number of illegal border crossings committed by Venezuelans has been reduced by half since the U.S. resumed deportation flights to the communist country.

The new figures comes from the Customs and Border Patrol (CBP), which report a 46% drop in Venezuelan arrivals.

Early last month the Biden administration said it would deport Venezuelans who were ineligible for asylum or temporary legal status. 

The economic failures and harsh clampdown on civil liberties have created a crisis in the South American country, leading to the exodus of more than seven million people the past few years.

The economy of oil giant Venezuela has collapsed under communist Nicolás Maduro, who seized power in 2013, just after the death of his predecessor, Hugo Chavez.

CBP agents detained 29,637 Venezuelans at the border last month, a reduction from September's record high of 54,833, according to the CBP figures released on Tuesday.

Unlawful entries at the southern border also dropped in October by 14% from 219,000 in September.

The 14% reduction in the overall number and 46% drop in Venezuelan border crossings came after U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) began deporting people back to the communist country in South America on Oct. 18.

Troy Miller, the Acting Commissioner of the CBP said the “resumption of removal flights ... consistent with delivering consequences for those who cross the border unlawfully”  was directly responsible for the sharp decrease of Venezuelan migrant detentions.

In September, the U.S. predicted that an estimated 472,000 Venezuelans would be eligible for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for up to 18 months so they could work while waiting for their asylum cases to be resolved.

Many Venezuelans have become frustrated however, especially those who were remanded to cold climates in northern U.S. cities such as Chicago and New York.

The issue has created tension between Democratic officials such as New York City Mayor Eric Adams and the Biden administration in Washington.

Adams blamed the White House for not sending enough help to NYC to house and offer services amid the migrant crisis.