Venezuelans in the U.S. will have to show proof of residence in the country continuously since March 8, 2021, to qualify for the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designation, according to the officials. If they meet the criteria, they will be given an 18-month reprieve to stay and obtain work permits.
The bill intends to protect those who have fled the Latin American nation, ravaged by years of unilateral sanctions, coercive economic measures, armed aggressions from neighboring Colombia, and seizing the country's international assets from the US and other allies.
Biden grants TPS to 320K undocumented South Americans but not 3 weeks ago deported about 1K Haitians. So we have room for one group but not another? This is a joke. https://t.co/pgfzMFRgW3
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) notice allows some 320,000 Venezuelans currently living in the U.S. to apply for Temporary Protected Status (TPS), letting them stay in the U.S. for 18 months due to what a senior administration official called "turmoil" in Venezuela.
The announcement came along a pledge to provide “robust humanitarian assistance,” particularly to neighboring nations that have taken in some 5 million Venezuelans who have left the country. Many of these have already returned via the Regreso a la Patria (Return to the Homeland) program after encountering xenophobia, difficult access to jobs, and extreme poverty conditions in the countries they moved to.
250 Venezuelan migrants are returning from Chile now. They have arrived from shelters in 6 buses. Their embassy is testing them for #COVID19 before departing. This is the 9th flight organized by the "Return to the homeland" Venezuela sponsored program. Where is the Chilean press? https://t.co/0iQMKCYjD2
The Biden administration has insisted on using opposition leader Juan Guaidó to delegitimize Maduro's Government. Shortly after taking office, Guaidó was recognized as the rightful president of Venezuela by the current U.S. administration, following what it deemed an "illegitimate" 2018 election process that confirmed Nicolás Maduro in power.
The announcement comes as the Biden administration seeks to double down on international efforts to topple Venezuela's elected government.
“We're going to, as an administration, be working to increase the international consensus in favor of free and fair elections in Venezuela and, as we're working with the international community, to increase pressure in a coordinated fashion, and making clear that the only outcome of this crash crisis is a negotiation that leads to a democratic solution,” another senior official said.
The senior official also said that the Biden administration is in “no rush” to lift sanctions on Venezuela, which were widely expanded under the Trump administration, particularly on hundreds of Government officials and institutions. These were added to the sanctions imposed under the previous Obama administration.
“We have to recognize here that unilateral sanctions over the last four years have not succeeded in achieving an electoral outcome in the country,” the official said. “What we’re focused on is making sure that we’re working very closely, and coordinating very closely with the European Union, with our friends and allies in Latin America and the Caribbean.”