U.S. to Protect Some 320,000 Venezuelan Immigrants

U.S. to Protect Some 320,000 Venezuelan Immigrants

The Biden Administration will grant Temporary Protected Status to some 320,000 Venezuelans who are currently in the United States, as confirmed by two senior government officials.

The measure will be valid for 18 months, renewable and will be accompanied by international pressure measures for the holding of free and fair elections in Venezuela.

Little by little Joe Biden is fulfilling promises he made during his 2020 election campaign. The last one is aimed at some 320,000 Venezuelans who will be able to obtain Temporary Protected Status (TPS), provided they can demonstrate that they have been residing in the United States before the March 8th, 2021.

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The measure will last for 18 months, although it could be extended, and will take effect on March 9th, when it is published in the Federal Register, two senior government officials informed the media. Once it is published, Venezuelans in the country will have 180 days to avail themselves of it.

In order to access the procedure, with which they could also obtain work permits, They must prove they have no criminal record and pay a fee of $545us to the Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). One of the officials pointed out that the decision is due to “extraordinary temporary conditions” in Venezuela.

During his tenure, former President Donald Trump was reluctant to offer this status to Venezuelan citizens, but a day before leaving power, he suspended the deportation of irregular Venezuelan immigrants for a period of 18 months and also granted them temporary work permits.

“The designation (of TPS) is due to the extraordinary and temporary conditions that exist in Venezuela, which prevent the nationals who are here from returning safely. There is a complex humanitarian situation with widespread hunger, malnutrition and the growing presence of groups non-state armed forces and infrastructure in ruins, “argued government officials when explaining their position.

Due to this situation, the Biden Government assured that it was not in a “hurry” to lift the sanctions imposed by the previous Executive against Venezuela, although one of the officials pointed out that Washington is reviewing them so that they are more effective and do not punish “unnecessarily” the Venezuelan people.

This review in turn entails moving away from Trump’s “maximum pressure” campaign and beginning to coordinate more closely with other partners, such as the European Union or some Latin American countries.

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