Tales of the Absurd: Venezuelan Man Allowed to Enter US Illegally, but Not His Pet Squirrel

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Now, after all that has transpired on our southern border, at last, we have crossed the line into the truly absurd, as a Venezuelan man is about to be allowed to enter the U.S. illegally — but the powers that be may well deny entry to his pet squirrel


Yes, you read that correctly. A squirrel. (Editor’s note: The AP’s story only refers to the man by a single name: Yeison.) 

During the weeks it took Yeison and Niko to migrate from Venezuela toward the U.S., they navigated dangerous jungles and over a dead body. The two are so inseparable that Yeison sold his phone so both had enough bus money to continue their journey.

Now as Yeison prepares to finally enter the U.S., it’s likely he will have to leave Niko behind.

That’s because Niko is a squirrel. 

The 23-year-old man and his pet squirrel are an unusual but blunt reflection of the emotional choices migrants make over what to take — and what to leave behind — as they embark on the dangerous trip north. Yeison, who declined to give his last name because he fears for his family’s safety in Venezuela, said going without Niko was out of the question. But Mexico is where they might be forced to part ways.

Yeison is obviously missing an opportunity here; if he claims Niko as an emotional support squirrel, that may well increase the rodent’s chances of entry.

Earlier this week, my colleague Nick Arama chronicled a massive line of illegal aliens storming the border; we have also seen disease entering the U.S. along with all of the illegal immigrants. So, a squirrel may seem like a tempest in a teapot, but it’s important to note that rodents are serious disease vectors as well, routinely carrying such things as bubonic plague, hantavirus, Lassa fever, and rabies.


These kinds of things are, supposedly, why we have border controls. We can’t have squirrels, possibly carrying disease, just strolling across the border unchecked. People? No worries; come one, come all — from China, anywhere, who knows?

Yeison is, of course, fleeing “political and economic unrest” just like everybody else claiming the right to cross the non-existent southern border:

Yeison, who is among millions of Venezuelans fleeing political and economic unrest back home, secured an appointment for Saturday to present himself at the border to seek entry to the U.S. and request asylum. Animals are generally not allowed to cross the border.

“It would practically be like starting with nothing, without Niko,” Yeison said.

Was I to advise Yeison on this, my advice would be “you should have thought of that before setting out.”

The situation on our southern border has been intolerable for quite a while now. The ridiculous tale of Yeison and Niko present is not a compelling emotional tale of bonding between a man and his pet tree rat, but rather a vivid illustration of how absurd the situation has gotten. Yeison, because he knows what keywords to use (fleeing political; economic unrest) will be allowed to enter the United States, immigration and border crossing laws and regulations be damned. But Niko, because squirrels have no political influence, will remain under the scrutiny of laws regarding the importation of plants and animals, and may well be denied entry.


Or maybe not. Since the rule of law on the southern border is non-existent, it’s impossible to tell if some kindhearted Federal nitwit will allow Niko entry as well. Maybe AOC could go down to the border and cry at another parking lot, maybe one with a few stacked empty rodent cages, to work up sympathy for Niko’s entry into the United States.

Perhaps the squirrel presents some security risk that the general populace is not yet aware of?


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