75ºF

Venezuela Embassy officials visit Pompano Beach ICE facility

Nearly 1,000 Venezuelan immigrants housed in U.S. facilities

POMPANO BEACH, Fla. – Venezuela Embassy authorities made a planned visit to a Pompano Beach U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement center Friday.

The visit to Broward Transitional Center is the first planned stop across the United States for the Venezuelan authorities as they assess conditions and treatment of their citizens while being held in U.S. facilities.

“Some weeks ago we received a letter from the detainees here in BTC,” Director of Consular Affairs Brian Fincheltub said. “We came here to personally view their situation and to correct their inquiries.”

Among the inquiries were questions regarding food and medical attention inside the federal facilities.

According to the United Nations, the mass migration of Venezuelans under the oppressive Nicolás Maduro regime is the largest humanitarian crisis in the Western Hemispheredecades.

There are an estimated 1,000 of the more than 4.7 million Venezuelan immigrants in the United States, officials estimate.

“They (leave Venezuela) because they are desperate and have no other options,” Fincheltub said “They want to have a better future for their families.”

Florida holds only about 8% of all Venezuelans detained, officials say.

The visit also comes on the heels of a piece of legislation introduced in mid-December called the Venezuela Emergency Relief, Democracy Assistance, and Development Act of 2019 — or VERDAD. The bill requests roughly a half-billion dollars for aid to the country.

The financial aid is only part of the plan to begin to repair the once economic powerhouse that the International Monetary Fund now projects has seen inflation increase by approximately 10 million percent.

Embassy officials will head to a Louisiana detention facility next, which officials say houses the most Venezuelans in the country.


About the Authors: