published : 2023-10-19

ICE Resumes Deportation of Venezuelan Nationals via Flights Out of US

127 Venezuelans on the first flight and there are more removal flights scheduled

A group of Venezuelans holding signs as they prepare to board an ICE deportation flight at a U.S. airport. (Taken with Canon EOS 5D Mark IV)

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has resumed deportations of Venezuelan nationals, with 127 Venezuelans being repatriated on the first flight out of the U.S.

This move comes after DHS reaffirmed its commitment to enforce immigration laws and strengthen consequences for those who enter the country unlawfully.

The resumption of deportations follows discussions between the U.S., Mexico, Colombia, and Panama, as well as an agreement with Venezuelan officials to accept the return of their nationals.

A flight operated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) transported the Venezuelans back to Venezuela on October 18, 2023, marking the first flight to resume repatriations of Venezuelan nationals who enter the U.S. illegally.

Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas addressing the media during a press conference on immigration policies. (Taken with Nikon D850)

During the discussions, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas, and Homeland Security Advisor Liz Sherwood-Randall discussed ongoing efforts between Western Hemisphere countries in dealing with migration issues.

ICE has confirmed that there are more removal flights scheduled following the first successful flight, bringing relief to the U.S. immigration system.

In addition to deportations, the Department of Homeland Security has also announced plans to offer work permits and deportation protection to over 470,000 Venezuelans amidst a new border surge.

It is important to note that the United States follows standard practices by properly screening all noncitizens, regardless of nationality, for valid protection claims and withholding of removal.

Venezuelan nationals celebrating their return to Venezuela after being deported from the U.S. (Taken with Sony Alpha A7 III)

Before being removed, noncitizens have the opportunity to present claims for relief or protection from removal in immigration courts.

ICE conducts chartered air operations with commercial airlines, having conducted over 72,177 removals to over 150 countries worldwide in the previous year.

This resumption of deportations is another step towards addressing the challenges posed by irregular immigration and strengthening border security.