Deportations to Venezuela begin once again as migrants continue to stream north.

by Jeff Abbott, The Progressive

President Joe Biden officially renewed deportations to Venezuela for the first time in years, with more than 100 Venezuelans being deported back on a flight chartered by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on October 18. The deportations follow high level negotiations between the two countries, which also resulted in the United States decreasing sanctions against the South American country and an opening for free elections.

According to the Biden Administration, the flight is the first of multiple flights per week headed to the South American country. The announcement comes months after the United States renewed deportations to Cuba.

ice officials stand by to deport migrants

The images of the deportation of Venezuelans with their hands and legs shackled—as if they were criminals—their lack of shoelaces, and the despair on their faces, is repeated daily. Each day, ICE-chartered deportation flights leave airports across the United States to return migrants to dangerous situations across the hemisphere.

According to Tom Cartwright, who tracks deportation flights with Witness At the Border, between 15 to 25 percent of all migrants encountered by Customs and Border Protection (CPB) agents are deported. “Deportation is a cornerstone of the United States’ immigration policy,”  Cartwright tells The Progressive. “It injects a risk [for migrants] of being sent back to their home country. Without that deterrent, [the U.S.] feels neutered”

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