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White House reviews humanitarian plan for Venezuelans

White House reviews humanitarian plan for Venezuelans

Throughout the Barack Obama and Donald Trump administrations, Mexican and Central American families have made up the majority of those crossing the border seeking safety in the United States. But the Biden administration has scrambled to find ways to contain more people, including Venezuelans, who have never crossed in historically record numbers. Throughout Biden’s tenure, senior White House officials, both Republicans and Democrats, have criticized the administration for not having an orderly way to process and deport immigrants who fail to comply with asylum requirements.

In recent months, Thousands of Venezuelans have made the perilous journey through the Darien Gap, between South and Central America, reach America. Most of those granted temporary stay will eventually face removal proceedings, which can take years to proceed. The The United Nations reckons More than 6.8 million Venezuelans have fled their country.

However, Venezuelans accounted for only 7 percent of all crossings in the Southwest between last October and the end of August, according to the most recent U.S. government data.

“Venezuelan people are just one group. Cubans and Nicaraguans are also coming in significant numbers,” said Chris Ramon, an immigration consultant who has written for the Migration Policy Institute and the George W. Bush Institute. “This policy is not going to address these groups coming to the border now.”

A plan the White House was debating last week would include giving Cubans, Haitians and Nicaraguans the same humanitarian access, officials explained in the discussions. It is not clear why these nationalities were ultimately excluded. According to the latest government data, Cubans, Nicaraguans and Venezuelans made up a quarter of all migrants who crossed the Southwest border last October through the end of August.

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Biden said last month: “What I have in my sights right now is Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua, and the ability to send them back to those states is not rational.”

The U.S. is not deporting most immigrants because of the current political instability in Cuba and Nicaragua, and will temporarily release them until they face an immigration court hearing to argue that they should not be deported.