FAIR just released a groundbreaking report that shows all Americans the direct causes of the astounding 7,300 percent spike in illegal immigration from Venezuela. Before President Biden took office (in FY20), only 4,520 Venezuelan nationals were encountered by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at the border. By last year, it exploded to 334,914. è
This does not happen in a vacuum. But the reasons why can be obscure. Here is where FAIR comes in. This report, Country Brief: Venezuela, comes from FAIR’s investigative Research department, where FAIR investigators dug deep into the major and minor Biden policy changes that triggered this tsunami of migration. The national security implications are also considered in depth. Examining the geopolitical conditions inside Venezuela, FAIR identified no change in the economic or political situation that would explain the sudden inflow: rather the entire blame can be laid at the feet of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and its erratic, inconsistent and damaging policy change. These variations encouraged Venezuelans to make dangerous trips through numerous countries to live, work and remain in the United States.
FAIR is placing this report in front of the nation’s key policy makers and Congress to inform future legal and policy changes. Its release was widely covered in the media.
MORE DETAIL: The exponential growth of illegal migration from Venezuela mirrors the general increase of mass illegal immigration under the Biden administration. Since President Biden arrived, some 10 million people are known to have attempted to enter the country illegally, including nearly 2 million who were never apprehended and processed by CBP. More than half a million of these people are Venezuelans and nearly 58 percent of them entered in the last fiscal year alone.
The Biden administration has changed policy and broken laws to encourage this inflow. Practices at issue include resume catch-and-release; expand Alternatives to Detention (ATD); stunning parole abuse; and baseless expansion of Temporary Protected Status (TPS). Most of these Venezuelans had already been safely settled in other countries for years – completely undermining any claim for asylum.
The FAIR report raises serious concerns about the risks posed to U.S. national security by the surge of new illegal migrants with ties to a government that is, at best, an adversary of 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 issues travel documents to individuals linked to terrorism. Additionally, the Maduro regime allows terrorists to operate with relative impunity and has increased its ties with the Islamic Republic of Iran, another notorious state sponsor of terrorism. Recent attacks on Americans and American interests in the Middle East and the Persian Gulf show this is no idle threat.
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.
FAIR In Action: The report also includes a detailed list of recommendations to slow the record influx of illegal aliens – not just from Venezuela, but from some 170 nationality groups that have responded to the Biden administration’s de facto open-door policies.
The full report can be found here.
Ira joined FAIR in 1986 with experience as a journalist, professor of journalism, special assistant, and press secretary of the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee. His columns have appeared in National Review, LA Times, NY Times, Washington Post, Newsweek, and more. He is an experienced TV and radio commentator.
EDITORS NOTE: This FAIR column is republished with permission.©All rights reserved.