Colombia government recently asked undocumented immigrants to register themselves at the Colombian authorities and found that more the Andean country has more than 200,000 undocumented Venezuelans. Many Venezuelans are leaving their home country to escape the economic crisis that had led to scarcity and hunger, making it almost impossible to survive. Their migration has been a major concern in South America. Many have crossed over to Columbia across its 2,219 km border without crossing border checkpoints.
Colombia asked Venezuelans who don’t have travel or work permits or dual citizenship to register themselves if they want to continue living in the country. The Colombian government asked for the information because it will help them understand the resources and capital required for medical care, schooling, temporary housing, and other resources and won’t deport anyone. Currently, around 320,000 Venezuelans are living in Columbia have either travel visa or visa extensions lasting for a minimum of 180 days. According to the government, there are approximately 5000,000 undocumented Venezuelans in the country, and 230,000 other have crossed Columbia to go to other countries.
Felipe Munoz, director of border issues, said that halfway through the registration, they had received 203,989 Venezuelan registration, with a month left. Registration doesn’t change their immigration status, and it isn’t for food vouchers or aid but for humanitarian purposes within their financial restrictions. Munoz feels that since 80 percent of Venezuelans have already registered, it means that they want to stay.
President Hugo Chavez
No estimates of how many Venezuelans left during former President Hugo Chavez and current President Nicolas Maduro are accurate, and it varies largely. Immigration experts feel that the number is close to four million, but Maduro has rubbished the claim. Because of the government complications, the US government has banned Venezuelan government authorities from visiting the country. Venezuelan citizens are allowed to visit.