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Tipsheet

Biden Admin Considering New Immigration Policy for Venezuelans

AP Photo/Eric Gay

The Biden administration is reportedly considering a new immigration program to allow Venezuelan migrants to arrive at U.S. ports of entry, such as airports, if they have a pre-existing tie in the country in an effort to deter them from illegally crossing the Mexican border. 

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Four sources familiar with the proposal told CNN that this comes as the U.S. encounters a record-high number of immigrants at the southern border. Reportedly, over 55,000 migrants encountered at the border in August were Venezuelan, Cuban or Nicaraguan (CNN):

The plan is intended to serve as an expanded and more orderly process. If migrants meet the criteria and are approved, they’d then be paroled into the US at an airport with the ability to also work legally.

According to the Wall Street Journal, more than 150,000 Venezuelans crossed the U.S.-Mexico border illegally in the fist 11 months of the government’s fiscal year compared to 48,000 the entire year before. The Biden administration’s program would be modeled after a separate policy that allowed the U.S. to take in tens of thousands of Ukrainians earlier this year (WSJ):

If enacted, the program would be modeled after Uniting for Ukraine, created in the wake of the war, that has allowed some 67,000 Ukrainians to move to the U.S. through a status known as humanitarian parole, which allows them to live and work here for two years. Any Ukrainians looking to come must find a U.S. sponsor willing to support their applications, and processing of their requests has been taking as little as a couple of weeks.

This week, Venezuelan groups sent a letter to DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas urging him to move forward with the policy. 

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“Facing severe political, economic, and social turmoil, nearly 7 million Venezuelans have fled their home country since 2015, making the Venezuelan exodus the second-largest displacement crisis in the world,” the organizations wrote in the letter to Mayorkas.

WSJ noted that sources said the Biden administration previously considered a broader program that would have provided passage to Haitians, Cubans, Nicaraguans and Venezuelans, but ultimately nixed the idea.

Administration officials are particularly concerned about Venezuelans, who make up a large proportion of asylum-seeking migrants accepting bus rides paid for by Texas and Arizona to New York City, where thousands have landed in the city’s homeless shelters.

Last week, New York City Mayor Eric Adams said in a press conference that the city’s illegal immigrant influx will cost at least $1 billion. 

“This is a humanitarian crisis that started with violence and instability in South America, and it’s being accelerated by American political dynamics,” he said.

“This crisis is not of our own making,” Adams claimed, adding that “but one that will affect everyone in this city and in the months ahead.”

New York City has a “right to shelter” in place from a court order from decades ago. After GOP Gov. Greg Abbott (TX) began sending migrants on buses to “sanctuary” cities, like NYC, Washington, D.C. and Chicago, Adams and other city officials reportedly began to consider undoing the policy. 

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Last month, Townhall covered how Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican, sent about 50 illegal immigrants via airplane to Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, which has styled itself as a “sanctuary city.” However, the island residents shipped the migrants to a military base on Cape Cod less than two days after they arrived. 

Mia noted how the millionaires inhabiting the island had launched a GoFundMe campaign to raise money over this “humanitarian crisis.” And some residents began turning on each other in private Facebook groups for not opening up their vacant vacation homes to the migrants.

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As the migrants left the island, some of its residents claimed that they had been duped into coming to Martha's Vineyard and were told that jobs and shelter were awaiting them.

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