Asylum Seekers in the US-Mexico Border
Migrants expecting to cross the border in Arizona. AFP

Mexico and Venezuela announced the resumption of repatriation flights for Venezuelan migrants in Mexico in a bid to address the large influx of individuals heading north toward the United States.

Mexico's Ministry of Foreign Relations announced on its official website over the weekend that both countries have agreed to restart coordinated repatriation flights for Venezuelans. It announced that two flights had already departed on Friday and Saturday.

"Both countries are working on putting social programs in place in Venezuela that will benefit repatriated individuals and others by placing them with productive projects and paid internships in workplaces," it added.

These projects and internships will be based on the Mexican programs Sembrando Vida (Sowing Life) and Jóvenes Construyendo el Futuro (Youths Building the Future) and linked to the Venezuelan program Vuelta a la Patria (Returning Home).

"Mexico and Venezuela reiterate their commitment to addressing the structural causes that lead to irregular migration in the region, and to achieving the humanitarian management of migration, in order to move towards safe, orderly and regular migration with full respect for human rights," the ministry added.

The move comes to curb the influx of migrants, with at least 10,000 individuals daily arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border, many of them seeking asylum. Furthermore, thousands of migrants from across the region, mainly Venezuelans, marched through southern Mexico last week.

These repatriation flights are one of the important parts of an agreement that was signed between regional leaders in October in Mexico, in response to the surge in migration to the United States.

The influx of migrants increased following the introduction of an online appointment system by the Biden administration earlier this year, which facilitated the process of claiming asylum. Since its inception in January 2023, over 44,000 individuals have successfully reached Mexico with their scheduled appointments.

Since the onset of the surge in migrants, migrant smuggling has also become a huge problem. Federal forces in Mexico recently rescued seven immigration agents, who were abducted, beaten up, and threatened to be killed by suspected drug cartel gunmen.

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said last month that he was willing to work with Washington to address the migration issue. However, he asked the Biden administration to first ease the sanctions the U.S. placed on the Cuba and Venezuela governments.

Obrador and President Joe Biden had a telephone conversation on Dec. 20.

"He asked — Joe Biden asked to speak with me — he was worried about the situation on the border because of the unprecedented number of migrants arriving at the border," Obrador said at that time, AP News reported. "He called me, saying we had to look for a solution together."

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