SAN ANTONIO – Data released this week by the US Department of Homeland Security reflects a notable increase in the number of asylum seekers from three Latin American countries.
The data shows a 175% increase in the number of people seeking refuge in Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua between August 2021 and August 2022.
Jon Taylor, professor of political science at the University of Texas at San Antonio, believes there is a possible link between the influx of migrants and the current policies of the Biden administration.
“Mexico has agreed not to allow migrants from Honduras, El Salvador and Central America to come to the United States. There is nothing in the agreement regarding Nicaragua or Cuba and Venezuela,” Taylor said.
KSAT 12 also spoke with an economics expert from Trinity University, who said global inflation could also be a factor pushing migration to the United States.
“Venezuela has had huge inflation rates, thousands of percent. So people run away from that kind of situation,” said David MacPherson, an economics professor at Trinity University.
Joel Maldonado said the economic situation is a big part of the reason he and his family fled Venezuela to Texas.
“Twelve dollars a week. You can’t even survive with this. Who is going to survive on $12,” he said.
Maldonado said the daily wage in his home country was enough to buy rice and flour for groceries, about $2 a day.
Kevin Barrientes, who was also seeking asylum in Venezuela, said the crime was a key factor in forcing him from his home. He hopes to make a better life for himself in the United States
“Everyone has the right to say, ‘I have the opportunity to live well,'” Barrientes said.
The Biden administration has not announced any plans to address this influx differently than others in the past.
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