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November 22, 2023Washington, DC, United StatesEnforcement and Removal

ICE conducts single adult, family unit removal flights Nov. 22

WASHINGTON — Today, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), working in coordination with the Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) facilitated removal flights, including single adults and family units to Venezuela, Central America, Colombia and Ecuador. During each of the past two weeks, we have conducted over thirty repatriation flights transporting thousands of individuals back to their country of origin and have repatriated over five thousand individuals directly to Mexico.

“The Biden-Harris Administration has led the largest expansion of lawful pathways in decades, and at the same time continues to enforce consequences for those who do not use these pathways, including removal to their home country such as Venezuela. The resumption of removal flights to Venezuela played a role in the 65% decrease in Venezuelan encounters in the second half of October,” said Acting Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security Kristie Canegallo. “Do not listen to the lies of smugglers who only care about putting money in their pockets. Migrants who cross unlawfully won’t be eligible for these lawful pathways and will be removed if they have no legal basis to remain in the United States.”

“Our message to noncitizens is simple: pursue legal pathways to the United States,” said ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations Executive Associate Director Corey Price. “Noncitizens who cross our borders unlawfully and who do not have a legal basis to remain in the United States will face consequences, including repatriation back to their home country.”

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.

B-roll for removal flights is available on DVIDS. DHS has made additional videos available to the public and the media including b-roll footage of removal flights, a public service announcement and testimonials from migrants who have been removed.

Editor’s note: B-roll available for removals to Venezuela.