Once upon a time, namely, in October 2020, presidential candidate Joe Biden condemned what he called the “stealth deportations” of Venezuelans through third nations by the then-president.
“It’s abundantly clear he has no regard for the suffering of the Venezuelan people,” Biden said, according to the Associated Press.
Yet now, President Joe Biden is doing the very same thing.
“The recent reports of the Biden administration removing Venezuelans through third countries is extremely disturbing,” said Sen. Bob Menendez, D-New Jersey. “By continuing to use a page from Trump’s immigration enforcement playbook, this administration is turning its back on the immigrants who need our protection the most.“
Indeed, this is unconscionable. The people of Venezuela are fleeing a tyrannical government the State Department considers “an illegitimate and authoritarian regime.”
Yet the Biden administration has invoked the Title 42 public health order to make it much more difficult for asylum seekers to pursue their cases and make it easier for individuals to be deported.
“In this case, pursuant to Title 42, we began repatriating Venezuelan nationals who had attempted to unlawfully enter the United States to Colombia where they had previously resided,” said White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki.
“Ultimately, the use of Title 42 deprives legitimate asylum seekers of their legal right to seek asylum and pursue their claims in the U.S., and its extended use has created unsafe conditions for vulnerable migrants, increased the number of dangerous border crossings, and has prevented the Biden Administration from fulfilling its early commitment to restore access to asylum,” counters Menendez.
The Biden administration must stop using the pandemic as an excuse to ward off asylum seekers and refugees. This is particularly true with individuals fleeing socialist tyranny right here in the Americas.
The Biden administration has, to its credit, provided temporary protective status to certain Venezuelans in the country, but it should go further. “The living conditions in Venezuela reveal a country in turmoil, unable to protect its own citizens,” said Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas last year. “It is in times of extraordinary and temporary circumstances like these that the United States steps forward to support eligible Venezuelan nationals already present here, while their home country seeks to right itself out of the current crises.”
But the administration must go further, which includes stopping the use of Title 42 in these cases.
Stepping back, America needs to show the sort of leadership it did in generations past with Cubans fleeing tyranny in Cuba.
People fleeing Venezuela are facing similarly dire circumstances, as international investigators have pointed to crimes against humanity committed in Venezuela, including the killing and torturing of people.
We should be welcoming those fleeing such violence and oppression.
It’s not only the moral thing to do as a prosperous nation perpetually posturing as a beacon of liberty to the world, but it’s the just thing to do.
To the Venezuelan people fleeing the Maduro regime, the value of liberty and the rule of law are not mere abstractions.
It’s up to President Biden to show whether his tough talk against President Trump was just that. Until he does the right thing, sadly, “It’s abundantly clear he has no regard for the suffering of the Venezuelan people.”
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