The Biden administration announced a new program to curb irregular migration from Venezuela. The program offers humanitarian parole to qualifying Venezuelans with a sponsor while simultaneously denying entry to any Venezuelan who enters unlawfully or seeks admission at the Southern border. The “carrot or stick” model is the administration’s attempt to curb record-breaking migration from Venezuela. In a statement, DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas explains: “These actions make clear that there is a lawful and orderly way for Venezuelans to enter the United States, and lawful entry is the only way.”
- The humanitarian parole program will allow up to 24,000 Venezuelans to enter the U.S. through authorized ports of entry.
- Similar to the successful humanitarian parole program for Ukrainians, qualifying migrants must have a preexisting tie in the United States and someone who can provide financial and other support.
- The person must also pass national security and public safety vetting and complete vaccinations and public health requirements.
The sponsor model allows US-based nonprofits, businesses, and individuals with lawful status to assist Venezuelans. The administration plans to work with organizations to identify potential sponsors for Venezuelans who may not have family ties in the U.S.
The humanitarian parole program also has strict requirements to render migrants who traveled through Mexico or Panama ineligible. The program will also not grant parole to any Venezuelan with permanent resident status, dual nationality, or refugee status with another country. In addition, Venezuelans who have already been released in the United States to face removal proceedings are also not eligible for the program.
The program was met with swift criticism from immigration advocates who claimed that the administration’s reliance on Title 42 to deny entry to migrants seeking protection was inhumane and inconsistent with the U.S. values of humanitarian protection.
The Biden administration had considered launching a sponsorship model for Haitians, Cubans, Nicaraguans, and Venezuelans. However, a senior Biden official said the administration may consider broader eligibility if the program for Venezuelans goes well.
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