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Venezuelans fleeing the socialist regime of Nicolas Maduro. (unavailable)

Although it was overshadowed by other recent news, last week the Biden administration Resumption of deportation flights for Venezuelan migrants Detainees at the border:

The United States resumes direct repatriation flights For Venezuelans Those crossing the border illegally have “no legal basis to remain” in the country, the Biden administration announced Thursday.

The Venezuelan government has agreed to return Deported immigrantsA senior administration official said.

The effect of this policy is to forcibly return migrants to the control of a brutal socialist dictatorship whose repressive policies and human rights violations have led to the largest refugee crisis in the history of the Western Hemisphere, with About 7 million people fled Since 2015.

This is not just my assessment of the situation in Venezuela. The Biden administration itself recognized these realities when it recently expanded Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to Venezuelans who arrived in the United States before July 31, 2023. TPS status is based on the existence of dire conditions in the migrants’ home countries. In January, the administration also allowed up to 30,000 migrants a month from four Latin American countries (including Venezuela) to enter the United States under a new law. CNVH Parole Programme, as long as they have US-based sponsors. The parole program is Also based onpartly due to Venezuelan migrants’ “pressing humanitarian reasons” for their need for asylum.

In this regard, there is no tangible distinction between Venezuelans who arrived before July 31 and those who have arrived since then. The Venezuelan government did not suddenly change. The argument that the migrants in question “have no legal basis for remaining” would also be unacceptable. The legitimacy of their situation depends largely on the administration’s actions in using (or not using) their parole and temporary protection powers. If the White House wanted to, it could easily expand parole, TPS, or both to include more Venezuelan victims of socialist tyranny.

While the United States government is not responsible for the horrific conditions in Venezuela, it is He is Morally responsible for its actions in forcibly preventing refugees from escaping those conditions. It is unjust to use coercion to push people into a life of poverty and oppression Just because they were born in the wrong place, to the wrong parents.

In a better world, Republicans would rise up against the administration’s abusive actions toward immigrants fleeing socialism. GOP leaders — including those behind an ill-advised lawsuit challenging the legality of the CNVH program — know all too well the nature of the Venezuelan regime. Like Florida Governor Ron DeSantis He said last yearSocialist President of Venezuela Nicolas Maduro He is a “murderous tyrant” who is “responsible for countless atrocities and has driven Venezuela to the ground.” But under Trump and the Republican Party, hostility to immigrants usually takes precedence over fighting socialism, when they clash. But Republicans’ hypocrisy on this point does not justify Biden’s hypocrisy.

The likely motivation for Biden’s new policy is political: an attempt to limit negative publicity caused by illegal immigration and chaos at the border. But this disorder is largely caused by it Almost impossible to enter legally For most of the immigrants concerned. Understandably, this combination of horrific poverty and oppression in their home countries and labor shortages in the United States would drive people seeking opportunity and freedom to enter illegally if there was no other way to do so.

It’s the same dynamic by which the prohibition of alcohol led people to resort to smuggling, obtaining booze from the likes of Al Capone. Blocking legal markets for goods or services that millions of people seek to access creates massive black markets. When Prohibition was repealed, alcohol smuggling and the role of organized crime in the industry was greatly diminished. Facilitating legal immigration has similar effects on black market immigration.

For several months, the CNVH program Significant reduction in illegal entry By immigrants from the four countries concerned, a finding confirmed by government data and study By the Manhattan Conservative Institute. Recently, this effect has diminished because the 30,000 per month cap has been reduced as expected It led to a massive accumulation. Once again, desperate Venezuelans, with little or no hope of legal entry, have no choice but to try the other kind.

The Biden administration could mitigate the problem by eliminating the cap or at least increasing it significantly. They and Congress can also facilitate legal entry in several other ways. Doing so would simultaneously help immigrants fleeing persecution and benefit the American economy (and thus… Increased economic freedom, wealth, and opportunity for native-born Americans), and reduce pressure on the southern border. Instead, the White House chose the cruel and unjust path of unjust deportation.

Overall, Biden’s immigration policies still represent a significant improvement over those of his predecessor, and in some crucial ways even over the policies of pre-Trump administrations. Even in the case of Venezuelan immigration specifically, Biden remains much better than Trump. But that doesn’t mean he deserves a pass when he makes mistakes in this area.

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