DHS Resumes Direct Repatriations of Venezuelan Nationals

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WASHINGTON Today, the United States, led by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), with support from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection, facilitated the first charter flight to Venezuela as part of other routine ICE removal flights conducted throughout the hemisphere and around the world. DHS continues to enforce United States immigration laws while strengthening the consequences for those who cross our border unlawfully. 

Since May 2023 to October 11, 2023, DHS has removed or returned more than 300,000 noncitizens, including more than 45,000 individual family unit members. 

Noncitizens, including Venezuelan nationals, who lack a lawful basis to stay in the United States are ordered removed, consistent with U.S. law. In keeping with standard practice, the United States ensures that all noncitizens, including Venezuelan nationals without a legal basis to remain in the United States are properly screened for valid protection claims and withholding of removal in accordance with our laws and U.S. international obligations. This applies to all noncitizens regardless of nationality to ensure the orderly and humane processing, transfer, and removal of single adults and family units. 

Noncitizens placed into removal proceedings present their claims for relief or protection from removal before immigration judges in the immigration courts, which are administered by the Justice Department’s Executive Office for Immigration Review. Due to operational security reasons, ICE does not confirm or discuss future or pending transportation operations. 

ICE Air Operations facilitates the transfer and removal of noncitizens, including family units, via commercial airlines and chartered flights in support of ICE field offices and other DHS initiatives. In fiscal year 2022, ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations conducted 72,177 removals to more than 150 countries worldwide. 

Editor’s note: B-roll available for removals to Venezuela.

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