It’s still harder to walk across 6th Avenue in New York City and grab a coffee than for immigrants to illegally cross the US-Mexico border and seek asylum.
Two days after the Biden administration announced it would deport Venezuelans entering the country illegally, The Post witnessed groups of immigrants from the country casually strolling through the puddles of the dried up Rio Grande river, through a gap in the border wall at El Paso, Texas, and surrendering themselves to Border Patrol agents.
This is despite Wednesday’s order which stated: “Effective immediately, Venezuelans who enter the United States between ports of entry, without authorization, will be returned to Mexico,” according to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
Instead, the U.S. said it will grant 24,000 Venezuelans humanitarian entry if they apply online and arrive via air travel — not on foot through a land border as thousands have been doing, with El Paso alone recording up to 2,100 migrants in a single day.
Sources close to the situation told The Post Friday only a small fraction of Venezuelans are being returned to Mexico, while the majority will be allowed to stay in the US while they seek asylum.
Border crossers who ask for asylum are handed to Immigration and Customs Enforcement [ICE], who make a determination on whether they can stay.
Biden’s mandate is also not slowing Venezuelans who are trekking to US from illegally crossing the border.
Randy Jose Sanchez Vera, 31, was hours away from the US-Mexico border when he heard about Biden’s new program.
“I wanted to cry,” Vera told The Post as he was being processed by Border Patrol agents in a make-shift, outdoor processing center that was put together to handle the massive influx of Venezuelans asylum seekers arriving in El Paso.
“We can’t go back,” he said. “We’ve gone through so much already…left family behind in Venezuela. I sold a car and borrowed money to make this journey. I left my kids behind.”
The father of two young kids who wants to travel to North Carolina said if he gets sent back to Mexico, he will try to sneak into the country again.
“I’m just going to keep fighting for what I want,” he said. “I’m going forward, not backwards.
Border Patrol agents in El Paso tried to send a group of about 100 Venezuelans to Mexico Wednesday, only to be rebuffed by Mexican officials, who said they weren’t ready to receive them.