Venezuelan Immigration into the United States
Venezuelans have been fleeing Venezuela because of the massive political, social, and economic problems caused by years of living under dictators, including Hugo Chavez and Nicholas Maduro. In the past few years, millions of people have fled Venezuela, and many have made their way to the border to request asylum. Recently, the Biden administration announced that it is considering implementing humanitarian parole for Venezuelans. If this program is established, it could greatly help people who are pursuing Venezuelan immigration. A New York immigration lawyer at Oltarsh & Associates can help people fleeing Venezuela navigate U.S. immigration laws and identify the types of visas that might be available.
How the Humanitarian Parole Program Would Work
If the Biden administration implements humanitarian parole for Venezuelans, the program would work similarly to the humanitarian parole program currently in place for Ukrainians. Under this program, family members can sponsor a refugee and agree to provide them with financial help while they are in the U.S.
Venezuelans who are already present in the U.S. would not be eligible for humanitarian parole. Instead, it would be designed to encourage migrants to fly to the U.S. instead of trying to cross multiple countries on foot to reach the border. Venezuelans would be eligible to apply in Venezuela or in another country that they have crossed into.
Venezuelans who have entered the U.S. and have turned themselves into Border Patrol officials can’t be repatriated. This is because the U.S. doesn’t have diplomatic relations with Venezuela. The government has been granting temporary permission to remain in the U.S. while they face removal proceedings.
If the humanitarian parole program is implemented, the government would turn many people away at the border who cross into the U.S. illegally and do not have sponsors. The government would use Title 42 to expel them to Mexico, which is the pandemic-related health rule used since the start of the COVID pandemic.
Changing Faces of Immigration
During the Obama and Trump administrations, migrants from Central America and Mexico made up the bulk of people crossing the border to ask for asylum in the U.S. However, people from many other countries, including Venezuela, Haiti, Cuba, and several African countries are now also trying to cross the border into the U.S. The surge of migrants at the border has resulted in criticism from both political parties about how the administration is handling the immigration process for those coming to the border and crossing into the U.S.
Thousands of Venezuelans have taken a dangerous journey through eight countries and across the Darien Gap to reach the U.S. Many Venezuelans who have been allowed to temporarily remain in the U.S. will eventually go through removal proceedings. However, the process could take years. An estimated 6.8 million people from Venezuela have fled their home country, but Venezuelans only make up around 7% of the people who crossed the border between Oct. 2021 and Aug. 2022.
The administration is also considering similar humanitarian parole programs for people from Nicaragua, Haiti, and Cuba. Together, migrants from Venezuela, Nicaragua, and Cuba made up around 25% of the people crossing the border between Oct. 2021 and Aug. 2022. President Biden has said that his administration is focusing on migrants from these three countries because it is not rational to send them back to their home countries.
All three countries have ongoing political upheaval and instability that shows no signs of abating. Because of this, migrants from these countries are often temporarily released pending a hearing in immigration court at which they can argue against removal.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis recently paid for a flight of Venezuelan migrants from Texas to Martha’s Vineyard, drawing widespread condemnation and lawsuits. His action also led to calls for additional protections for Venezuelans fleeing the dangerous conditions of their home country.
Get Help From Oltarsh & Associates
If you are a family member of a Venezuelan who wants to move to the U.S., you should speak to a New York immigration lawyer at Oltarsh & Associates. We can help you understand the various visa programs that might be available or help your loved one seek refugee status or claim asylum. Call us today at (212) 944-9420 to schedule a consultation.