Large crowds of migrants continued their journey across parts of Colombia’s Darien jungle on Saturday, aiming to reach the United States despite Washington’s expansion of asylum restrictions to Venezuelans.
The Biden administration announced it will grant 24,000 humanitarian permits to Venezuelans arriving in the country at U.S. airports.
However, under the new policy, Venezuelans who walk or swim across America’s southern border will be expelled and any Venezuelan who illegally enters Mexico or Panama will be ineligible to come to the United States.
The announcement hasn’t deterred many migrants who hope to reach U.S. soil.
“This journey is for my children’s future and the family,” said Andres Rodriguez, a Venezuelan migrant who was traveling with his wife and son, and whose journey took him to Peru before venturing into the Darien.
The dangerous paths test families, many of them with young children, who have to cope with the challenges on the perilous courses.
About 80% of the migrants who were traveling were Venezuelan, another 20% were from Ecuador, with the remainder being from other countries, including Cameroon.
After crossing Darien’s Gap, the migrants were set to head by land up Central America through Mexico toward the U.S.
More than 7.1 million Venezuelans have left their country due to the social and economic crisis, according to a report released Wednesday by the International Organization for Migration and the UNHCR.
AP video shot by: Marko Alvarez