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The Biden administration has reportedly lobbied Mexico to impose restrictions on Venezuelan migrants, amid an increase in those fleeing the brutal Maduro regime coming to the U.S. border in recent months.
Reuters reports that Mexico is now considering tougher entry requirements for Venezuelans, including potentially reviewing records to show that migrants are economically solvent and in employment, and have a return plane ticket.
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A Mexican source told the outlet that Washington had lobbied Mexico to slow arrivals from Venezuela, but that Mexico also wanted to make sure migrants were not entering for false reasons.
Migrants, many from Haiti, are seen at an encampment along the Del Rio International Bridge near the Rio Grande, Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021, in Del Rio, Texas. The options remaining for thousands of Haitian migrants straddling the Mexico-Texas border are narrowing as the United States government ramps up to an expected six expulsion flights to Haiti and Mexico began busing some away from the border. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Migrants, many from Haiti, are seen at an encampment along the Del Rio International Bridge near the Rio Grande, Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021, in Del Rio, Texas. The options remaining for thousands of Haitian migrants straddling the Mexico-Texas border are narrowing as the United States government ramps up to an expected six expulsion flights to Haiti and Mexico began busing some away from the border. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Another source said that the government had increased its efforts over the summer. Apprehensions of Venezuelans at the U.S. southern border have increased to 47,792 in Fiscal Year 2021 compared to just over 1,000 in FY 2020. Venezuela is under the rule of dictator Nicolás Maduro, who has overseen a socialist regime that has engaged in human rights abuses amid a collapsing economy.
It comes amid a broader increase in migrant encounters at the southern border in numbers that dwarf those coming from Venezuela — with migrants coming predominantly from Northern Triangle countries of Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala.
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There were more than 1.7 million migrant encounters in FY 2021, with more than 192,000 migrant encounters at the border in September alone. October’s numbers have not yet been released by Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
Republicans have blamed the rollback of Trump-era policies by the Biden administration for encouraging migrants to make the journey to the border from numerous countries. Biden administration officials have instead blamed “root causes” like poverty, corruption and violence in the region.
A State Department spokesperson told Fox News that the U.S. is “working with Mexico to address root causes of irregular migration in the region and on a collaborative, regional approach to implementing humane migration management policies that prioritize border security; respect for the human rights of migrants; and access to international protection for those in need.”
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The spokesperson said the two countries share an interest in “sustainable solutions” that reduce migration and forced displacement, and are using an approach that “works to address the root causes of irregular migration and forced displacement over the long term while simultaneously enhancing collaborative, regional approaches to expand access to international protection and other legal migration pathways and to humanely manage unprecedented mixed migration flows through consistent border enforcement, visa regimes, and other such tools.”
On Venezuela specifically, the U.S. says it is coordinating closely with partners in the region “including providing support for Venezuelan migrants and refugees and the communities that host them.”