Statement from the Department of Homeland Security

WASHINGTON – On October 12, 2022, DHS announced a new process for Venezuelan nationals that enhances the security of our border and provides a lawful means for eligible Venezuelans to come to the United States. Today, less than a week after the portal went live, DHS reports that the first four Venezuelan nationals arrived at U.S. airports in a safe, orderly, and lawful manner. While it is still in its early days, this process has already reduced irregular entries of Venezuelans at our border by more than 85%, showing that when there is a lawful and orderly way, people will be less inclined to put lives in hands of smugglers.

On Tuesday, USCIS began accepting applications under the new Venezuelan migration enforcement process, a lawful pathway for Venezuelans fleeing a repressive regime. By late Wednesday, approvals began to go out, and screening and vetting of individuals began.

Hundreds of vetted and approved Venezuelan individuals are now able to book their own travel to come to the United States, with the first 4 arriving today by airplane; two from Mexico, one from Guatemala, and one from Peru. Additional travel authorizations and more arrivals will continue, lawfully, in the coming days.

Venezuelans who attempt to cross the southern border of the United States illegally will continue to be returned to Mexico and will be ineligible for this process in the future.

As this process moves forward, the United States and Mexico are also continuing to reinforce their coordinated enforcement operations to target human smuggling organizations and bring them to justice. That campaign includes new migration checkpoints, additional resources and personnel, joint targeting of human smuggling organizations, and expanded information sharing related to transit nodes, hotels, stash houses, and staging locations.

The actions the United States of America and Mexico are taking together to expand legal pathways and reduce irregular migration are grounded in the principles of the Los Angeles Declaration on Migration and Protection that both countries adopted in June alongside 19 other countries in the Western Hemisphere.