News Release

Venezuelans Fleeing Sanctions Turned Away at the U.S. Border


The Biden administration is under fire for turning away Venezuelan asylum seekers at the U.S. border.

The Center for Economic and Policy Research notes in “House Democrats Worried that Migration Surge Caused by U.S. Sanctions Could Cost Them in 2024” that: “Venezuelans and Cubans hurt by sanctions-caused damage are a rapidly increasing proportion of migration to the U.S. over the past year.”

Pine is visiting professor at the California Institute of Integral Studies, Department of Anthropology and Social Change, and co-editor of Asylum For Sale: Profit and Protest in the Migration Industry.

She just appeared on “Flashpoints” with Dennis Bernstein to discuss the influx of Venezuelan migrants at the U.S. border.

Describing the origins of the crisis, Pine said, “In 2015, Former President Obama issued the first sanctions, which are a form of collective punishment against Venezuela. Venezuela had a huge hit to its economy. It was not able to import food, it was not able to import medicine — even if it did have the money — because of U.S. unilateral coercive measures. So people started to leave.

“More recently, many Venezuelans have made the very dangerous trek through the Darien Gap toward Central America, Mexico, and ultimately the United States. They did this only to find that, while the United States has been using the increased migration of Venezuelans in a cynical, propagandistic way to claim they’re fleeing a dictatorship, the U.S. is not welcoming Venezuelans with open arms when they come.”

Pine noted that the asylum ban (preventing the majority of Venezuelan asylum seekers who don’t have access to the Biden administration’s limited parole program at the border from seeking refuge in the United States) stands in contrast with historical U.S. asylum-granting policy: “Citizens from countries that are perceived as enemies to the United States are more likely to be granted asylum than citizens from countries that are not perceived as enemies to the United States regardless of the actual level of violence that is targeting populations in the countries…

“Venezuelans are coming to the U.S. border thinking that they’re going to get a warm welcome because this is the rhetoric of the United States and they’re finding that the reality is very different.”

Pine remarked on the policies of the Biden administration: “The Biden replacements for Title 42 and Remain in Mexico are proving to be even more dangerous than Trump’s policies, and the administration has been deporting people without any due process at record pace.”