BOGOTA -- An association of Venezuelan exiles in Miami on Monday asked the Trump administration for “migratory relief,” saying that sending their members back to Venezuela could be “condemning them to death.”
In a letter sent to President Trump and to the U.S. departments of State and Homeland Security, the organization, called Politically Persecuted Venezuelans Abroad, or Veppex, said Venezuela’s political situation needs to be taken into account when considering deportations.
“The chaotic situation in Venezuela, where human rights are not respected and criminals control the institutions, has turned Venezuela into a failed state whose authorities are the main threat against its citizens,” Veppex Vice President Henry Clement wrote.
Clement also asked the Trump administration “to study the possibility of a migratory relief for the thousands of Venezuelans who are in the United States seeking refuge and asylum fleeing from the ferocious dictatorship that rules the country.”
As of 2013, some 248,000 Venezuelans lived in the United States, according to the PEW Research Center, amid a migratory wave driven by that nation’s economic, political and social chaos. Since then, the economic crisis in Venezuela has worsened, with continuing food and medicine shortages. And earlier this month, the Trump administration slapped sanctions on Venezuela’s vice president accusing him of being a major drug trafficker.
Photo credit: Jose A. Iglesias, el Nuevo Herald