Recently, CNN posted this article on social media and its usual outlets, hundred of them.
By Doug Criss
It starts by saying that “thousands of refugees” are fleeing to America.
However government statistics do not appear to show a flood of refugees into the United States.
Table 2: In both quarters of 2017, “approximately two-thirds of refugees were from five leading countries of nationality: the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Syria, Iraq, Somalia, and Burma.” Venezuela is not even included on the list.
Venezuelans cannot gain even temporary protected status in the United States as refugees. El Salvadorians, Haitians, Nicaraguans and Hondurans can.
Table 4A: In the first quarter of 2017, Venezuelans gained 52,992 non-immigrant admissions to the United States. Australia with a lower national population gained 137,619 admissions, more than twice as many. The qualifications for non-immigrant admission are in table 4b.
In Table 1A: the report calculates that 5662 Venezuelans were granted permanent residency in the US in 2017 to July 31; of those most were adjustments of the status of existing residents. Only 1318 new permanent residents arrived in 2017 and the number fell in the second quarter. It includes many categories listed in table 1b.
The Department of State Refugee Processing Centre has documented only 1543 refugees arriving from the whole of South America between October 2016 and July 31, 2017. That’s 3% of the total for the whole world.
I cannot find where Criss obtained the graph shown above and titled ‘Venezuelans Lead US Asylum Applications’. Its alleged source is the (USCIS) website.
There, I did find a document entitled ‘Asylum Office Workload June 2017’ that lists Venezuelans as the main source of asylum applications in 2017. However, applicants have to be physically in the United States and there is no data given on how long the applicants have been there (two-thirds of illegal residents have been there more than 10 years). There is also no information on which applications are defensive i.e. against deportation under Trumps February orders. That and his belligerent attitude towards refugees and Venezuela would lead one to believe that this document alone is insufficient to reasonably assess the number of genuine asylum seekers recently arrived from Venezuela.
Whilst there may be an increase in the number of refugees from Venezuela, the government statistics do not indicate a flood. If the simplistic graph above has drawn on the Asylum Office report at USCIS it is useless for anything other than as a ploy to negatively influence American attitudes towards refugees. Trump’s election proved they were already far from positive.
Criss’s article continues with more claims likely to be taken on board by Americans such as that Maduro and government supporters are creating anti-American sentiment and that the government is withholding food and medicine to deliberately cause suffering in Venezuela’s children. He does not mention American sanctions and economic warfare or that Venezuelans may have very good reasons for negative attitudes to America.
Finally Criss presents the ultimate straw that will break any American resistance to the idea of regime change in Venezuela. He says –
IT COULD HURT US IN OUR POCKETBOOK… and in one of our most sensitive spots: the gas pump.