US administration officials did not want to go into details in their responses. That is a question that is part of the negotiations, they responded regarding contacts with the Nicolás Maduro regime. But the fact is that the United States government will soon resume deportation flights for Venezuelans back to their homeland in a new attempt to deter the entry of undocumented immigrants across the border with Mexico.

This practice, which had already been used previously, had been frozen for years, after Washington and Caracas broke diplomatic relations in 2019, while the South American country is subject to powerful economic sanctions.

The recovery of this measure occurs at a time when the problem of the entry of immigrants illegally is not only an obsession of conservatives. Democratic governors and mayors of cities such as New York, Chicago or Los Angeles have also pressed the alarm button in the White House when they were overwhelmed by the enormous flow of people, without means or facilities to care for them.

Entries have grown dramatically in recent weeks. Last month saw a record number of more than 200,000 arrests at the southern border, the highest number this year. Of that group, Venezuelans were the most numerous, with at least 50,000. In September there were days of up to 3,000 Venezuelans per day.

Throughout these months, President Joe Biden established a series of policies to offer legal avenues for all those fleeing the Maduro government. Hundreds of thousands have entered the US. This repressive measure on flights is implemented just the week after the White House extended the temporary protection permit to Venezuelans who entered between March 2021 and July 31, 2023. This affects some 480,000 people, who will be able to reside without fear of deportation and work for a period of 18 months.

Those who will be affected by this express repatriation procedure are all those who have arrived after July 31 and cannot demonstrate legal reasons, such as political persecution or humanitarian situation, to process the refuge.

“This occurs after Venezuela’s decision to agree to welcome back its nationals,” said these official sources in a telephone press conference. “We urge all migrants who are thinking about coming to the United States not to enter the Darien jungle and not make that dangerous trip because they will be returned to their country,” they warned.

Despite the insistence of journalists, these sources did not specify the details about how Caracas was able to accept the deportation flights again. They only noted that they had long asked the Maduro administration to “receive its citizens.”

In a statement, the State Department indicated that the measure occurred as a result of a high-level discussion on Wednesday in Mexico City between the US governments, represented by the head of its diplomacy, Antony Blinken, the host country, Colombia and Panama. There, the way to address irregular migration was addressed.

Until now, US authorities could not send Venezuelans to their country who did not meet the requirements to be welcomed in the US. As part of an agreement with Mexico, however, the United States had the ability to send to the other side from the border to a certain number of Venezuelans per month. This practice will continue in parallel with the deportation flights.

They have already identified “several individuals” in custody who will be sent back to Venezuela on a first deportation flight “in the coming days,” they reiterated. “Today (Wednesday) it is very clear that we are committed to applying the laws of immigration and to quickly expel all those individuals who skip regulated processes and choose to cross our border illegally,” the Department of Homeland Security stressed.

It remains to be seen the operational capacity of these devices and whether the flights will be able to do more than just a sample in the face of the large number of undocumented arrivals. The White House argued that immigration laws are outdated and that only Congress, where so many Republicans are talking about invasion, can significantly overhaul the system. This has been a question that has been impossible to resolve for many years.

This recovery in the use of deterrent flights coincided this Wednesday with the news that the US government will resume the construction of a part of the wall promoted by Donald Trump on the southern border and of which Biden assured that he would not build “a single foot more.” Biden himself replied that this method is ineffective, but that he has no choice but to accept that 32 more kilometers of barrier be erected in an area of ​​Texas because Congress had already appropriated the funds. There has been no way to redirect them, he said. In short, Trump’s wall will also have a contribution from Biden.