Venezuelan migrant relieved to make it to US before border officials began turning away more people

Biden administration giving 24K qualified Venezuelan migrants legal pathway into US

Thousands of people fleeing Venezuela to come to the U.S. could be turned away and sent to Mexico, the Biden administration announced this week.

SAN ANTONIO – Thousands of people fleeing Venezuela to come to the U.S. could be turned away and sent to Mexico, the Biden administration announced this week.

Before the announcement, Venezuelans weren’t subject to Title 42, which allows the U.S. to turn migrants away at the border to slow the spread of COVID-19.

The changes come in a joint effort by the U.S. and Mexico to slow down human smuggling operations.

Angel Avile, a Venezuelan migrant, made it to the Migrant Resource Center in San Antonio days before the border policy changes.

“Thank God we arrived three days before that went into effect,” Avile said in Spanish.

Avile made the journey to the U.S. with his wife and three young children. He counted his blessings, making it when they did and together as a family.

Although relieved, Avile said he couldn’t help but think of others hoping to make the same journey from Venezuela to the United States.

“I feel bad because there are so many families who come looking to survive to not die in that country, so it’s sad hearing the news,” he said.

The Biden administration is allowing 24,000 qualified Venezuelans a legal pathway to the U.S. To be “qualified,” Venezuelans must pass a background check and have someone provide them with financial assistance.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security said those who cross the border without authorization would not only be sent back to Mexico but would also lose eligibility to apply to come to the U.S. in the future.

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About the Authors:

John Paul Barajas is a reporter at KSAT 12. Previously, he worked at KRGV 5 in the Rio Grande Valley. He has a degree from the University of Houston. In his free time, he likes to get a workout in, spend time on the water and check out good eats and drinks.

Joe Arredondo is a photojournalist at KSAT 12.