B-roll footage courtesy of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) | Todd Packard Public Domain

After an initial announcement earlier this month, the Department of Homeland Security began the deportation of Venezuelan migrants who have been unable to establish a legal basis to remain in the United States. The announcement followed a decision by Venezuelan authorities to accept the return of Venezuelan nationals.

“This decision is consistent with the Administration’s efforts to implement a strategy of humane, safe, and orderly enforcement of our immigration laws and to process individuals in a fair and fast manner,” read the October 5 statement. “These efforts include the Administration’s significant expansion of lawful pathways to enter the United States, including for Venezuelans, which have allowed hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans to enter the country in a safe and orderly manner through our humanitarian parole process and after making an appointment through the CBP One mobile application.”

In the press release issued on Oct. 18, 2023, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced the first removal flights sending many Venezuelans back to their home country via ICE Air Operations under its Enforcement and Removal Operations.

“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,” reads the October 17 statement. “DHS continues to enforce United States immigration laws while strengthening the consequences for those who cross our border unlawfully.”

ICE Air Operations facilitates the transfer and removal of noncitizens, including family units, via commercial airlines and chartered flights supporting 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. 

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

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Arturo Dominguez

Arturo is an anti-racist political nerd. He is an upcoming author, journalist, advocate for social justice, and a married father of three. He is a top writer on Medium and a regular contributor to several news media outlets. He writes educational and informative material about systemic racism, white supremacy, and racial injustice.

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