Biden Changes Rules for Venezuelan Asylum Seekers

The Mayor of New York has praised a recent change in policy by the Biden administration, which he says has turned the “wave” of asylum seekers pouring into the city from a “river” to a “trickle” was reported by Politico on Thursday.

“It is clear that we have navigated this storm,” Mayor Eric Adams said at a news conference this week. “We don’t think we’re there yet, but we really need to look at how this government has handled a real crisis.”

The city had recently opened a new shelter to serve such migrants. Mayor Adams had previously declared a state of emergency.

“I had to tell New Yorkers what we were dealing with and what I needed from the federal government — and the president responded,” Adams said, per Politico. “You performed a decompression strategy.”

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The story added that while ten buses carrying migrants arrived in New York a day, it’s now down to about two a day. Similar reports indicate that the number of migrants turning up in the border town of El Paso has also decreased.

What are the changes? The Department of Homeland Security said Oct. 12 that it would change rules for Venezuelan asylum seekers. The department describes it as “part of the ongoing effort by the Biden-Harris administration to reduce irregular migration across the western hemisphere.”

“Effective immediately, Venezuelans entering the United States without authorization between ports of entry will be returned to Mexico,” DHS said. At the same time, the United States and Mexico are stepping up coordinated enforcement efforts to target human smuggling organizations and bring them to justice…

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“This campaign will include new migration checkpoints, additional resources and personnel, joint attacks on human smuggling organizations, and expanded intelligence sharing related to transit hubs, hotels, hideouts, and collection points. The United States also plans to offer additional security assistance to help regional partners address migratory challenges in the Darién Gap.”

There is also a new process in place to “legally and safely bring up to 24,000 eligible Venezuelans to the United States,” DHS said. The change came after Mexico agreed to take in the migrants.

“These actions make clear that there is a lawful and orderly way for Venezuelans to enter the United States and that lawful entry is the only way,” then-Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas said. “Those attempting to illegally cross the southern border of the United States will be returned to Mexico and will no longer be eligible for this procedure in the future. Those who follow lawful process have the opportunity to safely travel to the United States and qualify for work here.”

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Stephen Silver, a technology writer for The national interest, is a journalist, essayist, and film critic who also writes for The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review, and Splice Today. Stephen, co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.

Image: Reuters.


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