One of the biggest drivers of the surge in migrants flooding the U.S. border is socialism, which has failed in the migrants' home countries. A new report says Venezuela is now the number one country of origin for those claiming asylum in the U.S. In fact, nearly a third of asylum claims filed with U.S. Customs and Immigration are from Venezuelans.
The numbers are not surprising, considering millions of people are fleeing Venezuela, where the economy has collapsed while violence, corruption and poverty thrive under the regime of socialist dictator Nicolas Maduro. The U.S. is pushing for regime change and has refused to recognize Maduro as the legitimate leader of the country. "Venezuela is a current lesson of taking one of the most prosperous countries in South America, and turning it into not only one of the worst economic basket cases in the world, but putting in power tyrannical dictators who are oppressing the citizens of the country," says Hans Von Spakovsky, senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation.
The increase in Venezuelans fleeing to America comes as the Trump Administration is trying to crack down on bogus asylum claims made by many of those coming from Central America, who abuse U.S. asylum rules to skirt immigration law. Von Spakovsky believes Venezuelans are different. "One of the grounds for getting asylum in the United States under federal law is political persecution," he says. "That is a legitimate claim."
In the bigger picture, Venezuela serves as another reminder that there is no such thing as a socialist utopia. "Anybody with any eye on history, all they have to do is look at the former Soviet Union, Cambodia and other horrible places to see how socialism, which in essence is the same as communism, has failed," says Von Spakovsky.