Connect with us

Federal

Democrats call on Donald Trump to extend ‘protected status’ to Venezuelans

Lawmakers say up to 150,000 Venezuelans would qualify for temporary protection.

As President Donald Trump heads to Miami Monday to speak on the power struggle in Venezuela, Florida’s Democratic congressional delegation is calling on Trump to extend Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to Venezuelans currently inside the U.S.

TPS allows immigrants from countries experiencing crises to live in the U.S. legally while the strife is ongoing. The protections have been offered in the past to Haitians after the devastating earthquake in 2010, for example.

Now, Democratic legislators want the same protection extended to Venezuelans as that country deals with economic struggles and a battle for the presidency.

“We need to continue doing everything that we can to support the Venezuelan people so that they can swiftly hold free and fair elections, restore stability, and restore their democracy,” said U.S. Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell on a Monday morning conference call with the media.

The U.S. has already declared Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó the country’s rightful president. President Trump has also directed humanitarian aid be flown into Venezuela to assist its residents.

Democrats noted the Department of Homeland Security has the authority to add countries to the list of TPS recipients, and called on the Trump administration to do just that.

“If they are being honest and truthful that they care about the Venezuelan people, this is the one issue that they have control over,” Mucarsel-Powell said.

U.S. Rep. Donna Shalala said Monday’s visit to Miami shouldn’t happen without a promise by the President on TPS: “I have challenged the President not to come to South Florida without announcing the extension of TPS.

“While we’ve supported many of the moves of this administration for political and economic sanctions, it’s very important that we protect the Venezuelans that are here, that are living in our community.”

Shalala says that up to 150,000 Venezuelans currently inside the U.S. are at risk for deportation and would qualify for temporary protection.

President Trump has sought to curtail TPS protections in the past, announcing an end to TPS for immigrants from Haiti and Central America. That decision has been challenged in the courts.

The Democratic legislators say that should the Trump administration fail to act, they’re prepared to push forward a bipartisan bill extending TPS protections to Venezuelans. That measure is being spearheaded in part by GOP U.S. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart and GOP U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio.

“We call upon [President Trump] to either show support for the TPS bill that we have or, more quickly, simply just grant TPS status,” said U.S. Rep. Darren Soto.

“The idea that we would send these hardworking people back to a country in crisis is outrageous and it’s inhumane,” added U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch.

“We need a strong response to this corrupt regime. But while the administration is talking tough about Maduro, it doesn’t seem to want to give Venezuelans a chance at safety and freedom in our country.”

Written By

Ryan Nicol covers news out of South Florida for Florida Politics. Ryan is a native Floridian who attended undergrad at Nova Southeastern University before moving on to law school at Florida State. After graduating with a law degree he moved into the news industry, working in TV News as a writer and producer, along with some freelance writing work. If you'd like to contact him, send an email to ryan.t.nicol@gmail.com.

Voters want doctors, not nurses, in charge of anesthesia

Influence

House advances APRN autonomous practice bill

Headlines

Lawmakers look at limiting marijuana highs

Headlines

Poll: Donald Trump approval numbers have fallen further in Florida than any other state

Federal

Sign up for Sunburn

Receive our team's agenda-setting morning read of what's hot in Florida politics. Delivered straight to your inbox Monday through Friday.

Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Jim Rosica, A.G. Gancarski, Joe Henderson, Janelle Irwin, Dan McAuliffe, Jacob Ogles, Scott Powers, Bob Sparks, Andrew Wilson.
Email: Peter@FloridaPolitics.com
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704

Connect
Sign up for Sunburn

Receive our team's agenda-setting morning read of what's hot in Florida politics. Delivered straight to your inbox Monday through Friday.