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The increasing number of Venezuelans stranded in Mexico is contributing to the decline in illegal border crossings into the US

MEXICO CITY- (AP): Venezuelan migrants often cite Mexico as the most challenging part of their journey to the US border, despite daunting hazards like venomous creatures in the jungles of Colombia and Panama. Daniel Ventura, 37, shared his experience after crossing the Darien Gap and waiting four months in Mexico to enter the US legally using the government’s online appointment system, CBP One. Mexico’s recent immigration crackdown, spurred by the Biden administration, has particularly impacted Venezuelans. This underscores Mexico’s crucial role in controlling migration, a key issue for voters as President Joe Biden seeks reelection.

Arrests of migrants for illegal crossings into the US have decreased this year, notably among Venezuelans. In February, arrests dropped to 3,184 from 49,717 in December. Although two months do not establish a trend, Mexico’s strategy of keeping migrants closer to its border with Guatemala offers temporary relief for the Biden administration.

In 2021, many Venezuelans flew to Mexico and then traveled on foot or by bus to the US after Mexico imposed visa restrictions. Mexico’s efforts include removing migrants from trains, transporting them southward, and even repatriating some to Venezuela. Recently, Mexico announced financial aid to deported Venezuelans, extending the offer to Ecuadorians and Colombians, aiming to dissuade their return.

Mexican President Andres Manuel López Obrador emphasized the importance of supporting people in their home countries to reduce migration, criticizing the lack of resources from the US government. López Obrador, barred by term limits from running in June elections, highlighted the need for substantial investment in addressing root causes of migration.

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