Removal Flights to Venezuela

DHS Executes Removal Flights to Venezuela and Central America, Marking 11th Flight Since Resumption

In the latest development, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) conducted removal flights to Central America and Venezuela, coordinated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in collaboration with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). This operation, occurring from December 26 to 27, involved the removal of single adults and family units without a legal basis to remain in the United States, aligning with U.S. law.

Since May 12, DHS has successfully removed or returned over 460,000 individuals, a substantial majority crossing the Southwest Border. This seven-month total surpasses the number recorded in all of FY19 and exceeds the annual removals and returns from 2015 to 2018. Notably, daily removals and enforcement returns have nearly doubled compared to the pre-pandemic average (2014-2019).

In adherence to established procedures, the United States ensures comprehensive screening for valid protection claims and withholding of removal for all noncitizens lacking a legal basis to stay, irrespective of nationality. This ensures the orderly and humane processing, transfer, and removal of both single adults and family units. Over the past two weeks, more than thirty repatriation flights transported thousands of individuals back to their home countries, with over five thousand individuals repatriated directly to Mexico.

Noncitizens facing removal proceedings present their claims for relief or protection before immigration judges in the immigration courts managed by the Justice Department’s Executive Office for Immigration Review. ICE, for operational security reasons, does not confirm or discuss upcoming or pending transportation operations.

ICE Air Operations, in support of ICE field offices and other DHS initiatives, orchestrates the transfer and removal of noncitizens, including family units, using commercial airlines and chartered flights. In fiscal year 2022, ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations executed 72,177 removals to over 150 countries globally. Additional videos, including b-roll footage of removal flights, a public service announcement, and testimonials from removed migrants, are available to the public and the media.

Source: DHS