Society for Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology
Volunteered - Oral Presentation Session
As country conditions in Venezuela continue to deteriorate the outflow of Venezuelan nationals has reached massive proportions with over 1 million leaving the country in 2017 and 2018. Most have fled to neighboring countries in Latin America in search of refuge, but a significant number have also come to the United States with Miami being one of the most popular destination. The plight of Venezuelan immigrants in Miami comes at tumultuous time in United States politics as the current administration has attempted to restrict the flow of immigrants coming into the country and sought to expel as many immigrants as possible from within the nation.
This paper looks at how these forces are intersecting by providing an account of the historical production of the Venezuelan immigration flow to Miami, how Venezuelans are integrating into communities in Miami, and how Venezuelans as a immigrant group are being affected by immigration policies such as family separation and changes to the asylum system. The evidence gathered by this research suggests that recent Venezuelan immigrants to Miami are the same people who visited the United States before on vacation, to attend school, or to conduct business and formed part of the middle and upper class of Venezuelan society. Additionally while new policies implemented by the Trump administration have hindered Venezuelans ability to immigrate to the United States, Venezuelans are able to access a growing network of resources on the basis of ethnicity to facilitate integration after arriving in Miami.