Colombia deports 33 Venezuelans after border reopening


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BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) — Colombia said Monday that it deported 33 Venezuelans in the country illegally amid warnings that the recent reopening of the two nations' border could be fueling a wave of illegal immigration.

Migration officials said the 33 women were detained in the northern city of Barrancabermeja and were taken to the Cucuta border crossing and turned over to Venezuelan officials.

Venezuelans desperate to buy food and medicine hard to find at home have been flooding across the border since Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro this month reopened crossings that he closed a year earlier as part of a crackdown on smuggling.

Over the weekend, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos welcomed the reopening but warned that some Colombian cities have been experiencing "invasions" by Venezuelans who have refused to return home amid Venezuela's worsening economic crisis.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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