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The new migrant crisis is in South America

Photo: GEORGE CASTELLANOS/AFP/Getty Images

The Washington Post reports that the exodus from Venezuela during the current economic crisis is beginning to resemble the flow of Syrians into Europe in 2o15, and "just as in that crisis, countries overwhelmed by the flood of new arrivals are beginning to bar their doors."

The big picture: Venezuelans are desperate, going so far as to leave their children at orphanages because they can't support them. Hunger is becoming more widespread, as is political repression from the Maduro regime. That's fueling the mass migration.

By the numbers

  • Nearly 1 million Venezuelans have left the country over the course of two years. That's even more than the 650,000 Rohingya Muslims who have fled atrocities in Myanmar.
  • "Roughly 250,000 Venezuelan migrants have surged into Colombia since August, with 3,000 a day still arriving." About 150,000 Venezuelans traveled to Peru last year, and Brazil has also seen thousands arrive.

The response

  • "In October, overwhelmed Panama imposed new visa requirements on Venezuelans, making it far more difficult for economic migrants and asylum seekers to enter the country."
  • "The sheer numbers have led to a backlash in Colombian cities and towns, prompting the national government last month to suspend the issuance of temporary visas for Venezuelans. Colombian authorities are now launching operations in which dozens of Venezuelans a day are captured and expelled."
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