Faces of the Venezuelan ExodusIssue 05-15-17 |
There are no official statistics on how many Venezuelans have emigrated to the United States, but according to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, they ranked first among asylum seekers in the fiscal year ended in March, with 14,525 applications filed—up from 2,181 in 2014. Data compiled by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security show that the number of Venezuelans who overstayed their travel visas jumped 78 percent, to 12,729, in 2015 from a year earlier.
Today, Venezuelans coming to the United States are mostly young, educated professionals and have been arriving in greater numbers as they flee political persecution and the collapsing economy. In Doral, Florida, a Miami suburb where Venezuelans and Americans of Venezuelan extraction represent more than a third of the population, a charity has been formed to help the new Venezuelan arrivals get on their feet. The charity, called the Value Store It Self Storage, solicits donations from the community and stages weekly giveaways of clothing, appliances, and other essential working and living items.