Making the trek from Venezuela to the U.S.-Mexico border on foot is perilous. It can take days to pass the roadless terrain of the Darién Gap, among other dangerous conditions that those seeking to enter the United States from the southern border must face.
Still, Venezuelan migrants seeking asylum find the attempt to enter the United States worthwhile, despite the dangers presented by the trip. But a new policy announced by the current administration will affect Venezuelan migrants seeking asylum.
New policy on Venezuelan asylum seekers announced
The Department of Homeland Security has announced that up to 24,000 migrants from Venezuela who are seeking asylum can legally enter the United States if they have a financial sponsor in the United States and arrive by plane. However, migrants from Venezuela who try to enter the United States on foot and without a sponsor will be immediately denied entry and will be expelled to Mexico under Title 42.
Will the new policy help Venezuelan migrants?
The current administration states that the new policy is meant to keep Venezuelan migrants from making the dangerous journey from their homeland to the United States. The current administration takes the stance that the situation is a humanitarian issue and aims to provide qualified Venezuelans with a safer way to enter the country.
However, critics of the new policy state that it leaves many Venezuelans who are currently travelling on foot in limbo, as they cannot safely stay in their home nation but also may be denied entry into the United States upon arrival. Critics also point out that many Venezuelans cannot afford airfare, leaving them with little recourse to lawfully enter the United States under the new policy. Finally, critics of the new policy state that the 24,000-immigrant cap is insufficient to meet the needs of all Venezuelans seeking asylum.
It remains to be seen how effective this new policy will be as it relates to providing Venezuelan migrants with safe passage to the United States. Still, asylum seekers should not lose hope. There may be other ways to legally enter the United States An immigration attorney can help migrants claiming asylum and can help those in the United States who want to sponsor a loved one for permanent residency.