The number of Venezuelans illegally crossing the US-Mexico border has nearly halved since deportation flights restarted last month.
Statistics from Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) indicate a 46% drop in such arrivals.
In early October, US President Joe Biden’s government announced it would deport Venezuelans who were ineligible for asylum or temporary legal status.
More than seven million people have fled Venezuela in recent years.
According to the CBP figures released on Tuesday, border agents apprehended 29,637 Venezuelans at the border last month, a sharp drop from September’s record high of 54,833.
Overall illegal entries along the southern border also decreased in October by 14% – from nearly 219,000 in September.
On 18 October, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) began deportation flights to Venezuela. Since then, hundreds of Venezuelans have been sent home.
Acting CBP Commissioner Troy Miller said the “resumption of removal flights… consistent with delivering consequences for those who cross the border unlawfully” had contributed to the dramatic decline of Venezuelan illegal migrant detentions.
In September, the US also said that about 472,000 Venezuelans would be eligible for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for a period of 18 months.
Those granted TPS status are eligible to work while they wait for their asylum cases to be heard.
The influx of Venezuelan migrants into US cities such as New York, Denver and Chicago has become a politically contentious issue, with even some Democratic elected officials criticising the Biden administration for its handling of the issue.
New York City Mayor Eric Adams, for example, blamed the federal government for not providing enough assistance to help the city house and provide services for newly arrived migrants.
The economy of oil giant Venezuela has collapsed under socialist President Nicolás Maduro, who has been in power since 2013.
Source : BBC