- - Friday, September 30, 2022

If the plot sounds familiar, it is. In Brian De Palma’s 1983 film “Scarface,” Cuba’s Fidel Castro emptied his prisons and mental institutions and sent his former prisoners and inmates to the U.S. as part of the Mariel boatlift. Not surprisingly, crime skyrocketed in Miami, where a tent city was hastily erected. The refugees included serial killer Francisco del Junco and mass murderer Julio González, who killed 87 people in an arson attack on a nightclub.

It’s happening again. According to a new report, Venezuelan dictator Nicolás Maduro is sending violent criminals — including many convicted of murder, rape and extortion — to the U.S. to seek asylum.

“The source says the task of identifying Venezuelans who have criminal records in their home country is nearly impossible,” Breitbart reports. “Of the thousands of Venezuelan migrants surrendering along the U.S.-Mexico border daily, most, according to the source, are being released into the United States. Without effective diplomatic relations with Venezuela, the source says access to criminal databases in that country simply does not exist.”



It’s with great concern that we have written to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas seeking answers. According to Customs and Border Protection, between October 2021 and July 2022, more than 130,000 Venezuelan nationals were encountered after entering the United States illegally. As a result of the Biden administration’s disastrous border policies, it is unknown how many of the freed Venezuelan prisoners have been released into the interior of the U.S.

Americans deserve answers to the following questions:

Does DHS have a projected headcount of how many released Venezuelan prisoners are expected to enter the U.S.?

What precautions is DHS taking to prevent these individuals from entering the interior?

How many Venezuelan nationals have already attempted to enter the U.S. illegally since President Biden took office? How many of them have a criminal conviction on their record?

Have any of the Venezuelan nationals encountered at the southern border this year been suspected to be released prisoners?

How many Venezuelan nationals encountered at the border have been released into the U.S. interior or are suspected got-aways? How many of these individuals have a criminal conviction?

Is the U.S. able to access criminal databases in Venezuela to ensure violent criminals are not released into the country? If not, how are we ensuring Venezuelan nationals who are released into the interior do not have a criminal conviction?

Has DHS been in contact with the Venezuelan government about the recent report?

America’s adversaries despise what our country stands for and are now sending their most dangerous people to our borders, where they will have no trouble getting in as a result of the Biden administration’s failed immigration policies. Our overworked Border Patrol agents can only do so much for so long without the administration’s help.

Americans need answers in light of this troubling report. We can’t afford a response that harkens back to the feckless and dithering response of the Carter administration to Castro’s schemes. Maduro is taking a page from his old socialist mentor, but we don’t have to let history repeat itself. It’s time to adopt the slate of reforms called for by Republican members of Congress to secure the border and prevent dangerous individuals from coming in.

• Congressman Troy E. Nehls represents the 22nd District of Texas in the U.S. House of Representatives. Greg Sindelar is chief executive officer of the Texas Public Policy Foundation.

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