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The following is a statement from Pili Tobar, Deputy Director of America’s Voice, on USCIS Director Ken Cuccinelli’s announcement that it will not designate Venezuela for Temporary Protected Status (TPS):
The decision by the Trump administration to not designate Venezuela for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) is devastating to those who are suffering from violence, food shortages, and political unrest in Venezuela, and also for those already here in the U.S. as well, who now have no hope of protection from deportation back to Maduro’s regime.
This cruel and nonsensical decision is in line with the administration’s moves to end protections for families from Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua, Nepal, and other countries, which are still suffering from natural disasters and political unrest. In the end, the Republican Party’s hostility to Latino migrants won out over foreign policy priorities, human rights, or any concern for desperate refugees seeking safety and shelter.
Venezuela is in crisis, and this decision will only lead to further distress. We should be protecting, not be deporting families and individuals back to Venezuela, especially when our own government issued a travel advisory that cites “homicide, civil unrest, poor health infrastructure, and kidnapping” as common incidents. Once again the Trump administration’s own assessment of Venezuelan security was less important in the end than the President’s interest in harming and deporting Latinos.
The decision on TPS today is yet another reminder that Congress must act to give permanent protections for TPS holders and Dreamers.
In light of the Trump administration’s decision to not designate Venezuela for TPS, Congress must step up and safeguard those suffering violence and unrest, and protect Venezuelans already residing in the United States.