On March 17, 2023, Secretary of State Antony Blinken released a public statement announcing that the United States Government will commit over $170 million to respond to the needs of vulnerable Venezuelans through the Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Magis Americas and Jesuit Refugee Service – USA (JRS/USA) strongly support this commitment and recognize the continued solidarity of the State Department with vulnerable Venezuelans, both in Venezuela and throughout the region.

Last week, Magis Americas and the Jesuit Refugee Service/USA (JRS/USA) joined a number of organizations and networks of the Society of Jesus to call on the international community to respond to the humanitarian crisis that has displaced more than 7 million Venezuelans. The International Donors’ Conference in Solidarity with Venezuelan Refugees and Migrants, which was held on March 16 and 17 in Brussels, provided a space to discuss the progress made over the last seven years but also recognize the need for continued aid for this vulnerable population. In our joint positioning statement ahead of this conference, Jesuit organizations and networks, in addition to the Red Clamor, identified three key areas that are essential to a holistic response to this ongoing crisis: Humanitarian attention and emergency response, Migratory regularization, integration and access to human rights, and International Funding.

While U.S. Government support is essential to providing aid for vulnerable Venezuelans, we urge the U.S. to take seriously the implications of U.S. migratory regulations, integration programs, and support for human rights claims of displaced Venezuelans. In particular, we consider the Biden Administration’s newly proposed asylum policy that stands in contrast to this generous support for migrants and refugees in the region. We must be willing to respond to this ongoing crisis with meaningful reform to the migration and asylum policies of the U.S. Government as well as significant humanitarian aid.  

We commend the U.S. for its continued support of humanitarian programs and direct aid to Venezuelans who remain at risk in their home country and those who have been displaced by this crisis and we invite the international community to respond in kind. We also reaffirm our commitment to accompany vulnerable Venezuelans, in Venezuela and throughout the region, to ensure the respect of human rights, including access to quality and inclusive education. At the same time, Magis Americas and JRS/USA will continue to demand meaningful action on immigration policies that ignore the needs of migrants and refugees from Venezuela throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as here in the U.S.