Darren Soto and Mario Díaz-Balart Want Temporary Protected Status for Venezuelans
Venezuela's political system is in turmoil, and on Wednesday, Donald Trump recognized Juan Guaido -- the president of the Venezuela National Assembly -- as the interim president of Venezuela minutes after the opposition leader declared himself the head of state. All this comes amid the country’s financial problems: 75% of the population is facing poverty and there is insufficient food, and the International Monetary Fund predicts that the country's inflation could reach 10 million percent this year. Congressmen Darren Soto (D-FL) and Mario Díaz-Balart (R-FL) recently introduced the Venezuela TPS Act, legislation that would allow Venezuelan nationals to become eligible for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) in the U.S. Under TPS, Venezuelans would be shielded from deportation and granted work authorization, allowing for individuals to pay taxes and contribute to their communities. The Venezuela TPS Act would also let these individuals travel abroad for emergencies and extenuating circumstances. “The now illegitimate Presidency of Nicolás Maduro has only brought suffering and despair to the people of Venezuela. ... The whole world has witnessed Maduro’s blatant disregard for human rights, including arbitrary arrests, media censorship, imprisonment of the opposition, and the use of lethal force against peaceful protesters. For these reasons, Venezuela should be added as a country designated for TPS as a way to help protect our brothers and sisters escaping Maduro’s terror,” said Soto. Díaz-Balart added: “Hyperinflation, drastic shortages, and egregious human rights abuses have forced many Venezuelans into exile, and the conditions in Venezuela remain too perilous for them to return. ... I am grateful to be able to provide a solution to so many who are escaping Maduro's totalitarian regime. We must not force Venezuelans who have sought safety in the United States to return to such dangerous conditions.” More here.