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One Year Later: Congress has Failed to Designate Venezuela for Temporary Protected Status (TPS)

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The Coronavirus Crisis has only Exacerbated the Danger for Vulnerable Immigrant Populations in the United States

 One year later, and still no action. A year has passed and the Trump administration has yet to designate Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Venezuela. One year after the Trump administration stated it was “monitoring” the situation in Venezuela, conditions in the country continue to deteriorate amid a global pandemic. With the Maduro regime at the helm, Venezuela is on pace to surpass Syria and become the largest refugee crisis in the world in 2020 if current trends continue; conditions have only been exacerbated by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Previously more than 215 national, state, and local organizations sent a letter to the DHS Secretary urging TPS to be designated for Venezuela. This one year anniversary represents the government’s failure to act at a critical juncture that has left Venezuelans vulnerable and endangers public health.

Pili Tobar, Deputy Director of America’s Voice commented:

Prior to this pandemic, Venezuela was already suffering from food and medicine shortages, violence, and political unrest and COVID-19 has exacerbated these issues creating even higher risk of danger, especially to children and the elderly.

It is cruel and nonsensical for this administration not to help all communities in the U.S. deal with this ongoing pandemic. Instead, it prioritizes arresting, detaining, and deporting vulnerable people. Our own government even issued a travel advisory for Venezuela that cites ‘homicide, civil unrest, poor health infrastructure, and kidnapping’ – yet it has no issue deporting vulnerable people back to these exact same conditions. TPS would provide much needed and life-saving work authorization for Venezuelan members of our community. That’s why the administration must immediately designate Venezuela for TPS, release detained Venezuelans, and allow breadwinners to go back to their families to support their communities during this crisis.

The Senate must move forward on a vote for TPS for Venezuela and allow our basic democratic functions of government to operate and protect Venezuelans from being deported back to a country in the midst of one of the worst humanitarian crises on our planet.