Increase in Venezuelan migration is felt across US - worldsnews
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Increase in Venezuelan migration is felt across US

Texas's Eagle Pass (AP) — Nerio spent two months and all he owned going primarily on foot from Venezuela to the United States, witnessing his tired fellow migrants being attacked or left behind to perish.

Nerio, like a growing number of Venezuelans, embarked on a perilous trip in search of a better life in the United States that led him through the renowned Panamanian forest, the Darien Gap, and Mexico, where migrants frequently encounter extortion and threats from government agents.

Nerio remarked last month in Eagle Pass, Texas, a community of 30,000 people that is at the epicenter of the rise in Venezuelan immigration to the United States, "We know that nobody wants us to make it here." Due to concerns for his safety, he requested that his last name not be made public.

Venezuelans overtook Guatemalans and Hondurans this month to overtake Mexicans as the second-largest nationality stopping at the U.S. border. One of them was Nerio, who left Venezuela with around a dozen other people to escape the poverty and violence there.

Authorities reported that Venezuelans were stopped 25,349 times in August 2021, up 43% from 6,301 contacts in August 2021 and up 43% from 17,652 stops in July. This is a rather abrupt demographic shift.

Since the country's economy collapsed in 2014, an estimated 6.8 million Venezuelans have emigrated, predominantly to nations in Latin America and the Caribbean. However, after the COVID-19 outbreak, the U.S. economy has grown quite strongly, which has made Venezuelan migrants turn northward. Additionally, it is very challenging to return them home due to U.S. regulations and tense ties with the Venezuelan government.

The news has spread throughout Venezuela as more family members and neighbors arrive in Texas and are released with notices to appear in immigration court or for humanitarian parole.

Nerio added, "We hope that the issues in Venezuela will be resolved in a few years so we can go back to our own country, but until then we have to be migrants and face what this journey will mean for us.

Daily headlines reflect the impact. Five of the six men who were discovered drowning in the Rio Grande at Eagle Pass by American officials in early September were Venezuelan, as were the approximately 50 migrants that Florida Governor Ron DeSantis flew to the affluent Massachusetts island of Martha's Vineyard last week.

José was traveling on one of the two DeSantis planes and wants to only be identified by his middle name out of concern for his safety. Before crossing the Rio Grande on an inflatable raft and turning himself in to the Border Patrol, he had to hike for over three months.

José met a woman who assured him of lodging for at least three months, a job, access to healthcare, and free legal assistance when he was residing at a migrant shelter in San Antonio. She informed the refugees that they would be moving to Chicago, Washington, and other immigrant-welcoming "sanctuary" cities.

José, who had to go to Philadelphia by the end of September in order to check in with immigration authorities, stated, "We believed that she was a very significant person, that she had lots of power, and that she could really help us." In her, we had faith. Immigration-related ignorance

However, José, 27, said in a phone interview from a military base in Cape Cod, where Massachusetts Republican Gov. Charlie Baker moved them on Friday, that "nobody was waiting for us, nobody knew who we were" when they arrived at Martha's Vineyard, a community famous for being the summer home of former President Barack Obama.

José, who made $20 a month as a garbage collector in Caracas and left his two children with their grandparents, was given a room and food by a Venezuelan family in Boston. He will change his address with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and relocate his appointment with the organization to Boston.

José declared, "Now that we are liberated, we may travel wherever we choose. "I feel God has blessed me."

About three-quarters of the population in Venezuela lives on less than $1.90 per day, the international threshold for severe poverty, and the country has one of the worst rates of inflation in the world. Although the economy is dominated by the dollar, the monthly minimum wage is paid in bolivars and is equal to $15. Many people lack access to power and clean, running water.

Jobs were increasingly scarce across Latin America and the Caribbean as a result of the epidemic, which also increased demand for housing in the United States. At the same time, the tense relationship between the United States and Venezuela's government makes it very difficult to deport Venezuelan migrants in accordance with Title 42, a pandemic regulation that U.S. officials use to deny people a chance to apply for asylum on the grounds of halting the spread of COVID-19.

Under pressure from the Biden administration, Mexico imposed air travel restrictions to reduce the number of Venezuelans migrating to the United States, although many later switched to the perilous land route.

In the past year, additional migrants have also come to the United States from Cuba and Nicaragua. In all, migrants were detained at the border 203,597 times in August, or 2.15 million times since October, surpassing 2 million for the first time in a fiscal year of the government.

When questioned on Tuesday about immigration, Biden responded, "What's on my watch right now is Venezuela, Cuba, and Nicaragua. It is illogical to be able to return them to such states.

In response, Nicolas Maduro, the president of Venezuela, claimed that the United States was "seeking to politically manipulate the pain of a segment of the Venezuelan people that, faced with sanctions and the economic war, took a personal decision to flee to other areas."

During a speech that was broadcast on state television, Maduro declared: "North American imperialism sought to destroy our nation and bring it to its knees, and Joe Biden emerges here insulting Venezuela, Cuba, and Nicaragua."

Salomon wrote his report in Miami. Regina Garcia Cano in Caracas, Venezuela, and Seung Min Kim in Washington both contributed as AP writers.