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Biden’s Ambiguous Response Toward Venezuelan Migrants Is Costing Lives

Available: Español

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Biden’s main proposal for Venezuelan migrants in his 2020 campaign was the TPS for Venezuelans. And he delivered. Sort of.

Two years have passed and over ¾ of applications haven’t been processed yet, leaving thousands of Venezuelans without work permits or travel authorizations to see their families. This, of course, condemns them to poverty, as they can only work illegally.

A good friend, who preferred to remain anonymous, works in a factory in upstate NY. He earns $15 per hour but his employer allegedly retains $100 per week from his paycheck because he doesn’t have a work permit. He applied over a year ago. Now, he’s losing $5,200 per year.

And he’s one of the lucky ones.

Thousands of Venezuelans have been waiting for their asylum interview for over 4 or even 5 years. Among them, my father, a cab driver in Houston. 

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And there are those undergoing enough despair to cross the deadly Darién Gap, a large jungle on the Colombo-Panamanian border. After the Mexican government demanded Venezuelans have a visa to enter their country — under Biden administration pressure — flying to México to cross the border stopped being a choice. The Biden administration thought this should be enough to disincentive Venezuelans from crossing the border.

As usual, they were wrong. Social media was flooded with videos of Venezuelans starting their journey in one of the deadliest jungles in Latin America. Some of them broke a bone and couldn’t continue the journey and were left to die. There was news of a couple that hung themselves after seeing their child drown in the dangerous rivers of the Darién Gap.

13,194 Venezuelans crossed the Southern Border in June, the highest number since January. And the number won’t fall so easily.

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