halted deportation flights to venezuela set back bidens migrant strategy

Flights sending Venezuelans back to their homeland have not taken off for two weeks. The move is a setback to President Biden’s effort to tackle a migration surge.

When deportation flights from the United States to Venezuela resumed last fall after four years, it was a move meant to show that President Biden was aggressively tackling the record numbers of crossings at the U.S. southern border.

The expulsions were also meant to deter other Venezuelans who might be considering the journey.

But on Wednesday, for the second week in a row, U.S.-run flights to Venezuela carrying migrants did not depart as planned — a move that seems to be initiated by Venezuela.

The Venezuelan government did not respond to repeated requests for comment about whether it was permanently halting the deportation flights, but a social media post by Venezuela’s vice president last month threatened to stop them after the United States reimposed some economic sanctions.

Officials at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security confirmed that a flight scheduled last week and another scheduled Wednesday had both been canceled.

The officials said they were not authorized to discuss the flights publicly.

They said the reason for the cancellations was not clear, but one official said the agency would continue its attempts to deport Venezuelans.

At a meeting in Colombia on Monday, Juan Gonzalez, a senior adviser at the U.S. National Security Council, also confirmed a recent flight had been canceled, but said he was “confident” the flights would resume soon.

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