Biden Changes Rules for Venezuelan Asylum Seekers

Biden Changes Rules for Venezuelan Asylum Seekers

The changes are “part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s ongoing efforts to reduce irregular migration throughout the Western Hemisphere.”


The mayor of New York has praised a recent Biden administration policy change, which he says has caused the “wave” of asylum seekers headed to the city from a “flow" to a “trickle,” Politico reported Thursday

“It’s clear that we navigated through this storm,” Mayor Eric Adams said this week at a press briefing. “We don’t believe we’re there yet, but we need to really look at how this administration dealt with a real crisis.”


The city had recently opened a new emergency shelter dedicated to serving such migrants. Mayor Adams had earlier declared a state of emergency. 

“I had to tell New Yorkers what we were dealing with, and what I needed from the federal government—and the president responded,” Adams said, per Politico. “They did a decompression strategy.”

The story added that while ten buses a day of migrants were arriving in New York, there are now just about two a day. Similar reports have stated that the number of migrants showing up in the border city of El Paso has also been reduced. 

What are the changes? The Department of Homeland Security said on October 12 that it is changing the rules for Venezuelan asylum seekers. The Department describes it as “part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s ongoing efforts to reduce irregular migration throughout the Western Hemisphere.” 

“Effective immediately, Venezuelans who enter the United States between ports of entry, without authorization, will be returned to Mexico,” DHS said. At the same time, the United States and Mexico are reinforcing their coordinated enforcement operations to target human smuggling organizations and bring them to justice…

“That campaign will include 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 United States is also planning to offer additional security assistance to support regional partners to address the migration challenges in the Darién Gap.”

There is also a new process to “lawfully and safely bring up to 24,000 qualifying Venezuelans into the United States,” DHS said. The change came after Mexico agreed to take in the migrants. 

“These actions make clear that there is a lawful and orderly way for Venezuelans to enter the United States, and lawful entry is the only way,” Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas said at the time. “Those who attempt to cross the southern border of the United States illegally will be returned to Mexico and will be ineligible for this process in the future. Those who follow the lawful process will have the opportunity to travel safely to the United States and become eligible to work here.”

Stephen Silver, a technology writer for The National Interest, is a journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.

Image: Reuters.