Masses of Venezuelan Migrants Arrive at the Southern Border

Venezuelan nationals have been fleeing their home country in droves due to economic collapse as a result of political instability and socialist policies. Chile, which has more than 458,000 Venezuelan migrants residing in the country, announced a crackdown on illegal immigration which gives illegal aliens 180 days to leave the country or risk deportation. Chile had previously offered democratic responsibility visas to Venezuelans seeking refuge from the socialist political crisis in their home country. The visas allowed Venezuelans to stay in the country for one year, with a possible 12-month extension.

According to reports obtained by a former border patrol member, more than 1,100 Venezuelans recently crossed illegally into West Texas in the span of two weeks. The increase in Venezuelan migrants attempting to come to the U.S. is likely attributed to the Biden administration’s move to grant Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to Venezuelans last month. The move grants 18-month temporary legal status and work permits to more than 300,000 Venezuelans currently residing in the United States. However, as essentially always occurs with TPS, it is likely that the designation will be rolled over indefinitely instead of being terminated after 18 months.

The TPS program was designed to be a temporary deferral of removal until exceptional circumstances – such as war or a natural disaster – subside in the country that received TPS designation. Unfortunately, it is almost always treated as an avenue for permanent resettlement as presidents from both parties routinely rubber-stump the continuation of TPS status.

This designation by the Biden administration acts as a magnet for illegal immigration. The prospect of receiving this status, as well as work authorization and protection from deportation, acts as an incentive for migrants to illegally enter the United States. Additionally, even if the TPS status is removed, there is no enforcement mechanism to ensure migrants who lose this status actually leave the United States.

President Biden continues to make decisions that incentivize illegal immigration and disadvantage Americans. In some situations, TPS could be an honorable humanitarian effort to protect those who are facing tragic situations in their home countries. However, the program has been usurped and morphed into an avenue for permanent resettlement. This is especially harmful right now as the country is already experiencing record rates of illegal immigration while millions of American citizens continue to go without gainful employment.

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