More Venezuelan migrants are linked to crimes in the U.S., but Maduro prevents all deportations

As more migrants are linked to crime, Venezuela has scrapped a deal that would have allowed the US to deport some of its citizens.

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A surge in violent crimes across America has been attributed to Venezuelan migrants, yet the U.S. government faces challenges in deporting them due to Venezuela’s refusal to repatriate its citizens.

An undocumented immigrant originating from Venezuela, Jose Antonio Ibarra, aged 26, has been charged in connection with the brutal murder of Georgia nursing student Laken Riley on the University of Georgia campus. According to three sources from ICE and DHS, Ibarra was admitted into the U.S. through parole.

Meanwhile, in New York City, the NYPD is intensifying efforts to combat a violent Venezuelan gang known as Tren de Aragua, which has been accused of terrorizing residents with numerous robberies. The gang, now implicated in scooter and moped thefts along with retail crimes, has been a significant concern for law enforcement in the Big Apple.

At least two members of Tren de Aragua were apprehended in connection with the alarming mob attack on two New York City police officers last month.

In another incident in New York City, a 15-year-old Venezuelan migrant was taken into custody after firing shots at police officers while fleeing a sports clothing store in Times Square. According to authorities, he had initially shot at a security guard and inadvertently struck a tourist in the leg.

Meanwhile, in Chicago, four Venezuelan immigrants were arrested last week for allegedly robbing and assaulting a man on a CTA train.

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Furthermore, some migrants in Chicago have confessed to law enforcement that they are committing crimes in hopes of being deported back to Venezuela.

Deporting Venezuelan migrants who have broken the law has become more challenging for the U.S. government, as Venezuela has terminated an agreement allowing them to be repatriated from the U.S. and Mexico. Venezuela has ceased accepting flights carrying migrants deported from both countries.

The authoritarian regime of President Nicol├ís Maduro is declining to cooperate with deportation requests, citing Washington’s reinstatement of some previously lifted economic sanctions on Venezuela, as reported by the Wall Street Journal.

A deal struck between the two countries in October aimed to facilitate the direct repatriation of illegal Venezuelan migrants back to their home country. This agreement was intended to signal the White House’s commitment to addressing the issue amidst increasing criticism.

The Biden administration sought to lift sanctions imposed on Venezuela by the previous Trump administration, arguing that these measures only worsened the ongoing economic and humanitarian crisis in the country. According to U.S. estimates, approximately 7.7 million Venezuelans have fled the nation since Maduro assumed office in 2013.

The agreement resulted in the U.S. transporting approximately 1,800 Venezuelans on 15 flights, but progress halted last month and has since ceased, according to reports from the Journal.

As part of the deal, the U.S. lifted sanctions on Venezuela’s oil industry and other sectors, while Maduro’s regime had committed to holding elections later this year to rejuvenate the economy.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro

Venezuela, situated on the northern coast of South America with a population of around 28 million, has also asserted territorial claims over a resource-rich region of neighboring Guyana, prompting further warnings from the U.S.

Last month, Washington issued an order to phase out all business dealings between U.S. entities and Venezuela’s state mining company, Minerven. Additionally, it stated that it would reverse its relaxation of energy sanctions if Maduro’s administration failed to adhere to the agreement and accept conditions for a fair presidential election.

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Meanwhile, Venezuela’s highest court upheld a ban preventing the prominent opposition candidate, Maria Corina Machado, from participating in the election.

The U.S. reinstated sanctions on Venezuela’s gold sector on February 13, and now Maduro is refusing to cooperate with deportations, resulting in some of its violent criminals residing in the U.S. being unable to be removed.

NYPD officers were attacked by migrants in Times Square in January

However, the Biden administration has deported only a small fraction of Venezuelan migrants who have entered the country illegally.

In fiscal year 2023, which ended on September 30, just over 830 Venezuelan border-crossers were reported, according to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). This is despite 335,000 Venezuelan citizens being encountered by border authorities.

Of these encounters, more than 201,000 were apprehended by Border Patrol agents after crossing illegally into the U.S. The remaining encounters occurred at ports of entry, which would include CBP One app paroles into the U.S.

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