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Data shows rise in Venezuelans seeking asylum in the U.S.

The immigration policy of the United States is in flux with the debates regarding travel bans and walls that have arisen with the presidency of Donald J. Trump. Even with that, other issues have continued as before. Florida residents who are in the U.S. after seeking asylum and those who have relatives who are trying to do so must be aware of the current realities. The ongoing problems in Venezuela illustrate this as it is one of the countries that has the largest number of people seeking to come to the U.S. for safety reasons.

According to recent data, the number of Venezuelans who are trying to get asylum in the U.S. has risen by more than double from 2016 to 2017. In the time frame of the first three months of 2017, there were more than 8,300 Venezuelans seeking asylum. This is in comparison to the more than 3,500 who sought asylum in the first three months of 2016. If that pace continues, the record of 18,155 from 2016 will be surpassed. Given Venezuela's governmental crackdown on protestors and other battles with the regime in place there, the country has overtaken China with the highest number of refugees seeking asylum in the U.S.

However, people who are trying to be granted asylum based on inflation and crime will not qualify for it as those who are trying to escape political persecution will. After this data was accumulated, protests and crackdowns began in earnest and this is expected to affect the number of people who are seeking asylum, making it rise. In addition, more people are overstaying their visas with approximately 23,000 having done so in 2016. Screening to enter the U.S. has been tightened and more than 40 percent of the applications for non-immigrant visas were rejected.

While being an immigrant and living in the U.S. was never an easy situation to settle in a legal way, it is far more difficult today than it used to be. Those who would like to come to the U.S. and are seeking asylum need to be aware of how the law deals with these matters. Individuals and those with loved ones who are confronted by this issue need to be aware of how to handle the situation through legal channels. Calling a legal professional experienced with US immigration law is vital.

Source: usnews.com, "Surge in Venezuela Asylum Requests to US Accelerating," Joshua Goodman, June 20, 2017

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