On October 30, the Department of Homeland Security, through U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) working in coordination with U.S. Customs and Border Protection, facilitated multiple removal flights, including single adults and family units, to Central America and Venezuela as part of dozens of other routine ICE removal flights conducted throughout the hemisphere and around the world. Since May 2023, DHS has removed or returned more than 336,000 individuals, including more than 50,000 individual family unit members.
“The Biden-Harris Administration has led the largest expansion of lawful pathways in decades, and continues to enforce consequences, including removal to their home country, for those who do not use these pathways to come to the United States,” said Acting Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security Kristie Canegallo. “Do not listen to the lies of smugglers. Individuals who cross unlawfully won’t be eligible for these lawful pathways and will be removed if they have no legal basis to remain.”
Noncitizens who lack a lawful basis to stay in the United States will be removed, consistent with U.S. law. In keeping with standard practice, the United States ensures that all noncitizens, including Venezuelan nationals without a legal basis to remain in the United States, are properly screened for valid protection claims and withholding of removal in accordance with our laws and U.S. international obligations. This applies to all noncitizens – regardless of nationality – to ensure the orderly and humane processing, transfer, and removal of single adults and family units.
Noncitizens placed into removal proceedings present their claims for relief or protection from removal before immigration judges in the immigration courts, which are administered by the Justice Department’s Executive Office for Immigration Review. Due to operational security reasons, ICE does not confirm or discuss future or pending transportation operations.
ICE Air Operations facilitates the transfer and removal of noncitizens, including family units, via commercial airlines and chartered flights in support of ICE field offices and other DHS initiatives. In fiscal year 2022, ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations conducted 72,177 removals to more than 150 countries worldwide.