Mexico considers tightening entry requirements for Venezuelans at US request: report


Mexico is considering tightening Venezuelan entry requirements at the request of the U.S., which has seen apprehensions of Venezuelans at its southern border go up significantly this year, multiple people familiar with the situation told Reuters.

One Mexican official told the outlet that Venezuelans could possibly have to meet certain criteria to enter the country as current rules allow them to come to Mexico without a visa as a tourist. 

A source with the U.S. government said efforts to get Mexico to impose criteria on Venezuela began over the summer as apprehensions at the Mexico-U.S. border increased. 

Authorities have caught 47,762 Venezuelans at the U.S. border this year through September, government data showed, according to Reuters. 

In the previous 12 months, there were only 1,262 apprehensions of Venezuelans. 

The request for tighter restrictions in Mexico have been made by diplomats and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) through informal channels with the U.S. are not pressing Mexico much on the issue, the U.S. source told Reuters.

A third source said the U.S. is pushing for more visa requirements, while a fourth with the Mexican government said Mexico and Venezuela are holding talks to find solutions besides visa requirements. 

Millions of Venezuelans have fled the country due food shortages and hyperinflation under the administration of  President Nicolas Maduro.

A human rights group said last month that Venezuelan migrants were having their human rights violated, suffering physical and verbal abuse. 

At least 5.7 millions Venezuelans have fled their country, with 17,000 under irregular migratory status in Cuarcao, according to the group.

A spokesperson for the State Department did not comment specifically about the U.S. request to tighten Venezuelan entry requirements to Mexico, speaking more broadly about a “collaborative, regional approach” to irregular migration patterns.

“The United States maintains close coordination with our Mexican counterparts on shared migration priorities, including joint investments in regional development programs to address the root causes of irregular migration from northern Central America,” the spokesperson said. “The United States appreciates Mexico’s efforts that contribute to safe, orderly, and humane processes for migrants at and within its borders.”

The push on Venezuelans could be brought up in a meeting between President Biden and Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador during meetings next week, the U.S. source said. 

The Hill has reached out to the White House and DHS for comment.

— Updated at 12:24 p.m.

Tags Crisis in Venezuela DHS Illegal immigration Joe Biden Mexico Nicolás Maduro Reuters Venezuelan refugee crisis

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