Washington, D.C. — A new report by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) examines the direct links between Biden administration policies and the astounding 7,300 percent spike in illegal immigration from Venezuela. In FY 2020, the last full year before President Biden took office, 4,520 Venezuelan nationals were encountered by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at America’s borders. By FY 2023, the number of such encounters had ballooned to 334,914. Venezuelans are now the second most commonly encountered nationality at the border, trailing only Mexican nationals.
The rocket-fueled surge of illegal aliens from Venezuela is not due to significantly worsening conditions in that country. Rather, Biden administration policies that virtually assure that all Venezuelan illegal aliens arriving in the U.S. will be released and allowed stay have driven the growth of illegal immigration from that nation, the report concludes. Moreover, a large percentage of Venezuelan illegal immigrants had already been safely settled in other countries for years.
The breathtaking increase in illegal immigration from Venezuela also poses serious national security concerns for the United States. Venezuela’s Marxist dictator, Nicolas Maduro, maintains close relationships with some of America’s most implacable enemies and adversaries, including Iran, Russia and China. Venezuela’s government is known to issue travel documents to individuals linked to terrorism and has been accused of allowing terrorists to operate with relative impunity.
In recent years, the Maduro regime has strengthened its ties with the Islamic Republic of Iran, the world’s most notorious state sponsor of terrorism, which has made overt terror threats against the United States. These are not idle threats, as recent attacks on Americans by the Yemen-based Houthis, an Iranian proxy group, clearly demonstrate.
“The surge in Venezuelan illegal immigration since January 20, 2021 represents a case study in how the ‘pull factors’ of the Biden administration’s disastrous immigration policies have led to the largest and most sustained wave of illegal immigration in American history,” noted Dan Stein, president of FAIR. “Venezuela has been an economic and political basket case for a quarter of a century. What has changed over the past three years are the policies of this country that have sent a clear message to people all around the world that illegal immigration will not only be tolerated, but rewarded.
“Aside from the crippling costs and social disruption caused by unprecedented illegal immigration that we see playing out in New York City and other cities around the country, our open borders also constitute a grave national security threat. The dramatic growth of illegal immigration from Venezuela is a prime example. In an increasingly dangerous world, in which the threats of terror attacks have never been higher in the estimation of FBI Director Christopher Wray, the Biden administration is playing Russian Roulette with the security of the American people,” concluded Stein.
Among the key findings of the report:
- Venezuelans are now the second most encountered nationality of illegal aliens at the border.
- More than half a million Venezuelan illegal aliens have been encountered since January 2021.
- The number of Venezuelan nationals encountered increased 77 percent between Fiscal Years 2022-2023. Since FY 2020, the increase in Venezuelan illegal immigration has been 7,309 percent.
- Executive Branch policies – especially parole, Temporary Protected Status and the mass release of migrants into the U.S.- have driven the dramatic increase in Venezuelan illegal immigration.
- The Biden administration’s parole program allows Venezuelans and dual nationals of Venezuela to enter the U.S., even with an expired passport, with little or no vetting.
- Venezuela’s government has supplied genuine Venezuelan travel documents to non-Venezuelans, including potential national security threats from countries like Iran. This is especially concerning given Venezuela’s ties to state sponsors of terrorism.
The full report can be found here.
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EDITORS NOTE: This FAIR report is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.