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Opinion
Matthew Yglesias

Republicans Have a Special Obligation to Venezuelan Migrants

Those who oppose lifting US sanctions on Venezuela owe a duty to the people fleeing deprivation and despair.

A migrant family from Venezuela, Eagle Pass, Texas, June 30, 2022.

A migrant family from Venezuela, Eagle Pass, Texas, June 30, 2022.

Photographer: CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP

The idea of tackling the “root causes” of migration and asylum flows is the kind of high-minded notion likely to be dismissed by politicians such as Greg Abbott and Ron DeSantis, who brag that they are actually doing something about the immigrants showing up at the US-Mexico border while other officials just talk. Yet a look at the reasons why so many Venezuelans are seeking asylum shows that there are some pretty obvious steps the US could take that would reduce incentives to make the perilous journey.

Spoiler alert: These steps do not include loading the migrants onto buses or airplanes and sending them to blue states.