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US-Mexico border: A powerful photo shows a new reality

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CNN

A stunning image that reveals one family’s struggle and the great change in the US-Mexico border.

A Venezuelan father tears up and his 4-year-old son tries to erase them.

The photo, taken by Reuters photographer José Luis González this week in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, shows a man identified as Franklin Pajaro, who has just been deported from the United States.

And beyond this powerful moment, there is more to the story.

Here’s a look at the big picture.

Pajaro is one of thousands of Venezuelans expelled from the United States as part of a new deal that the Biden administration is brokering with Mexican authorities.

Faced with increasing pressure and criticism from state and local governments over the growing number of immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border, the Biden administration unveiled a new plan last week.

Now, for the first time, large numbers of Venezuelans are subject to the Trump-era public health authority known as Title 42, which allowed authorities to send immigrants to Mexico after they were caught at the border.

Why focus on Venezuelan immigrants? Officials say the number of Venezuelans trying to cross the border has increased dramatically, nearly quadrupling in the past year.

And a growing number of Venezuelan asylum seekers are among the thousands of migrants sent by bus across the border to New York City and elsewhere.

Since the new US-Mexico agreement was announced on October 12, US authorities have sent more than 4,800 Venezuelans across the border, according to the latest report from the International Organization for Migration. And the number is increasing day by day.

Officials in Mexico describe an increasingly dangerous situation. Dana Graber Ladek, head of IOM’s mission in Mexico, said she was concerned about seeing Title 42 now applied to more people, a policy the UN agency has long condemned.

“Most of the bunkers are already at capacity. They’re fed up,” he said. “These people are being sent back to cities they don’t know. They don’t have social networks. They don’t have the resources and the numbers are pretty high.”

As part of the same new policy, the US also says it has created a legal pathway for some Venezuelans to enter the US through a process known as humanitarian parole.

First reported by CNN, the program will allow up to 24,000 Venezuelans with US-based sponsors to fly to the US if they meet certain requirements, including passing a background check and completing vaccinations. Authorities started accepting applications from potential sponsors this week.

The total number of people the US says it plans to accept under the program is much lower than the number of Venezuelan immigrants trying to cross the border this year, and it’s unclear what will happen when the border is reached. Officials said they may decide to expand or terminate the program depending on what happened.

In a phone call with journalists on Thursday, the lawyers praised the humanitarian parole program and encouraged potential sponsors to sign up.

“This is a very tangible and effective way that ordinary Americans, non-governmental organizations can participate. … Cecilia Muñoz, a former Obama administration official who co-chairs Welcome.US, who hopes to help unite potential sponsors trying to reach the United States, told tens of thousands of newcomers. We believe we have more hosting capacity.” States “Private sponsorship is a viable way forward.”

But some immigrants who were sent back to Mexico as a result of the new policy began to protest along the border.

The tearful father Pajaro, pictured with his son, told Reuters he had been in the United States for six days with his wife and two children when they were sent back to the cross-border Ciudad Juarez.

“They left us on the street,” he said, according to Reuters. “There are many families like us and we are suffering.”

In the Mexican border city across El Paso, Texas, protesters carried banners demanding that they be reunited with family members in the United States – including young children. One girl’s sign read, “I’ve been through the woods and they won’t let me see my father.”

venezuela immigrants us mexico border title 42

Watch mom’s heartbreaking reaction after Biden brings back Trump-era policy

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– Source: CNN

In Washington and across the United States, immigration rights organizations have also criticized the Biden administration’s move and condemned the decision to return to the controversial Trump policy that officials are fighting to end in court.

“This decision comes after President Biden announced less than a month ago that the pandemic is over and highlights the hypocrisy behind maintaining the so-called public health order,” said Nicole Melaku, executive director of the National Partnership for New Americans. statement last week.

“All people, not just the chosen few, should have the right to seek safety and protection.”

Previously, Title 42 did not apply to most Venezuelans because Mexico had refused to accept their return, and the South American country did not accept deportation flights. The new Biden management policy is changing that.

But many of the factors that fueled Venezuelan immigration in recent years have remained the same.

For example, poor economic conditions, food shortages and limited access to healthcare are forcing Venezuelans to leave more and more. According to the United Nations, more than 7 million Venezuelans currently live outside their country as refugees or migrants, surpassing Ukraine and Syria in the number of displaced people.

According to a Homeland Security official, nearly 1,000 Venezuelans have been arrested every day at the US-Mexico border in recent weeks. For comparison, less than 1,000 Venezuelans reached the southern border of the United States in the entire month of February 2021, according to US government data.

Many immigrants are fleeing desperate conditions and have embarked on the long and arduous journey in hopes of reaching the United States. Recent photos and videos from the border reveal that the emotions are running high.

Thousands passed through Panama’s Darien Gap, a notoriously dangerous jungle gorge where migrants had to walk through mud and face other harsh conditions.

The immigrants, mostly Venezuelans, crossed the Darien Pass from Colombia to Panama on October 15, 2022, and headed for the United States.

Some who are preparing to cross the Darien Pass now say they don’t know where to turn.

“After all the pain, all the hurdles we have to overcome, we are now stuck. We are in Necoclí (Colombia) and have nowhere to go,” a Venezuelan immigrant who wanted to be identified only as José, told CNN last week.

there are also a lot of circulating false information IOM’s Graber Ladek said this complicates matters for immigrants.

“We reveal ourselves. reliable information on process and compliance and what they should do. … it can be quite confusing for a Venezuelan immigrant,” he said.

The Biden administration’s announcement last week immediately cast doubt on some of the agents tasked with enforcing it.

National Border Patrol Council On Twitter he criticizes new Venezuelan policy as “PR stunt” and argued that Mexico would impose a limit on the number of immigrants it would accept under the new plan.

Citing an Associated Press report, a Mexican government official stated that Mexico has only agreed to accept as many Venezuelans as the United States has accepted through its humanitarian parole program. The Department of Homeland Security did not respond to a CNN investigation into this report.

But officials in El Paso told CNN they’re starting to see things change in their city as a result of the new approach.

On Wednesday afternoon, due to a sharp drop in arrivals, El Paso closed its immigration hub, where charter buses full of immigrants travel to New York and elsewhere.

Beds appear lined up in a new tent shelter that New York City has opened to temporarily house hundreds of immigrants.  Mayor Eric Adams praised the Biden administration's new Venezuelan policy.

“At this point the numbers have decreased and we are reducing our operations,” said Mario D’Agostino, Deputy City Manager.

He told CNN he attributed the sudden drop in immigrant arrivals to the Biden administration’s new policy and what’s known as “decompression,” or the federal government’s effort to reduce overcrowding at processing facilities.

It’s a welcome relief for officials in the border city, who have warned they are overwhelmed and struggling to cope with the crisis.

For the Biden administration, this is a sign that their new approach is working.

But for Pajaro and others like him, the road ahead is much less certain.

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