Thursday, January 25, 2007
From Caracas to Miami
This is starting to look a lot like Cuba. See More Venezuelans seeking U.S. asylum (Newly released immigration statistics show a surge of Venezuelans seeking asylum, residence and other immigration papers in the United States) BY ALFONSO CHARDY AND CASEY WOODS:
"Parallels in Alejandro Costa's family history are unsettling.
His father, José Costa Moure, fled to Venezuela in 1959 after Fidel Castro seized power in Cuba. And after concluding that Castro's ally in Caracas, President Hugo Chávez, was turning Venezuela into another Cuba, Costa fled Venezuela in 2004. More than 2,000 Venezuelans received U.S. asylum in 2004 and 2005, figures newly released by the Office of Immigration Statistics indicate. In 1997 -- the year before Chávez was first elected -- only nine Venezuelans received asylum in the United States. The latest figures show a surge of Venezuelans moving to the United States either through asylum, permanent residence or other visas. The number of Venezuelans who got green cards in 2005 -- almost 11,000 U.S. permanent residents -- was more than double those in 2000. Those who seek asylum are claiming persecution or that communism is about to take hold in Venezuela. In 2004 and 2005, more than 3,000 Venezuelans filed petitions for asylum in immigration courts -- a dramatic rise from 1997 to 2001, when only a few dozen applied each year."
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