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“Inhumane and Cruel”: Senate Republicans Block Protections for Venezuelans Fleeing For Their Lives 

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The following is a statement from Douglas Rivlin, Director of Communication for America’s Voice, in response to U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Senator Bob Menendez’s (D-NJ) attempt at a unanimous consent request to pass the House-passed Venezuelan TPS Act of 2019. Republicans blocked the legislation today on the Senate floor.

It comes as no surprise that Senate Republicans are unable to put their party leanings aside to protect human lives. Denying protections for Venezuelans fleeing for their lives is inhumane and cruel.

A designation for Temporary Protected Status for Venezuela is in the best interest of Americans, and is without a doubt in the best interests of the hundreds of thousands of human beings whose home rages on into what is one of the worst humanitarian crises of our day.

Senate Republicans, it is time to look past the knee jerk rejection of immigration from Latin America and do your job to save Venezuelan and American families alike. This is not a party issue. Asylum and refuge are deeply held American ideals and there is no excuse for this circus as human lives are at risk.

Continually putting off this critically important legislation, as well as legislation like the Dream and Promise Act, only puts hundreds of thousands of people in harm’s way. The lives of the endangered are not political bargaining chips; there is no leverage to win here. There is only a very clear right, and a very clear wrong. We implore Republicans to do the right thing.