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US resumes deportation flights to Venezuela with more than 100 migrants on board
A flight of Venezuelan migrants deported from the U.S. under new measures by the Biden administration has landed outside the South American country's capital
MAIQUETIA, Venezuela (AP) — Deportation flights of Venezuelans from the U.S. resumed Wednesday with a first plane of more than a hundred migrants landing back in their economically troubled country under the Biden administration's latest attempts to deal with swelling numbers of asylum-seekers.
This is the first time in years that U.S. immigration authorities are deporting people to the South American nation, marking a significant concession by the government of Venezuela's President Nicolás Maduro to a longtime adversary.
The first plane, a Boeing 737 jet, took off from the Texas border city of Harlingen and touched down in Miami before arriving hours later outside Caracas, Venezuela's capital. The roughly 130 passengers were Venezuelan women and men who were shuttled to the plane on buses, and wore wrist and ankle restraints. As they boarded, U.S. immigration officers patted them down.
Biden's administration said it plans to have “multiple” deportation flights a week to Venezuela, according to a U.S. Transportation Department waiver on travel restrictions, which would place Venezuela among the top international destinations for U.S. immigration authorities.