In keeping with our commitment to enforce our immigration laws, and to continue strengthening the consequences for those who cross our border unlawfully, the United States is announcing today that it will resume direct repatriations of Venezuelan nationals who cross our border unlawfully and do not establish a legal basis to remain.

This announcement follows a decision by authorities from Venezuela to accept the return of Venezuelan nationals, as well as high-level discussions yesterday in Mexico City between the United States, Mexico, Colombia, and Panama where Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas, and Homeland Security Advisor Liz Sherwood-Randall discussed ongoing coordinated efforts to address irregular migration in the Western Hemisphere.

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.  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.  Today’s announcement makes clear that we are committed to strictly enforcing immigration laws and quickly removing individuals who do not avail themselves of these orderly processes and choose to cross our border unlawfully.

Irregular migration is a regional challenge that requires a regional response.  Through the framework established under the Los Angeles Declaration on Migration and Protection, other partners across the hemisphere are also pursuing new actions to address this challenge, including increased repatriations of Venezuelans and other migrants without valid protection claims.  Our partners also continue to make progress in expanding legal pathways so that individuals are not compelled to make the dangerous journey north.

Under the Los Angeles Declaration, which President Biden and 20 leaders adopted last year, we are collectively charged to take coordinated actions to stabilize flows, expand lawful pathways and humanely manage their borders. Conducting repatriations is a key piece to this balanced approach.

We remain grateful for the efforts of these and other nations in the hemisphere to address historic levels of irregular migration and displacement. The United States also continues to support countries as they strengthen their protection and asylum systems.

The United States continues to urge migrants seeking to come to the United States to take advantage of the lawful pathways that we have made available and significantly expanded, instead of putting their lives in the hands of callous smugglers and crossing our border unlawfully only to be removed.