Democrats push White House to expand immigration protections for Venezuelans

Lawmakers want the administration to redesignate TPS to apply to more recently arrived Venezuelans. They also want an extension of the TPS because the current protections are due to expire in September.

The letter was signed by all Democratic senators who ran for president in 2020, including: Sens. Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Kirsten Gillibrand, Amy Klobuchar, Cory Booker and Michael Bennet. Other co-signers included Senator Dick Durbin, who chairs the Judiciary Committee with jurisdiction over immigration legislation, and Alex Padilla, who sits on the committee.

In the letter, the senators recalled that the protection of Venezuelan immigrants has long enjoyed bipartisan support. On his last full day in office, former President Donald Trump used the little-known delayed forced start or DED, to offer temporary legal status to Venezuelans fleeing the humanitarian crisis caused by the Nicolás Maduro regime.

President Joe Biden first TPS granted for Venezuelan exiles in March 2021, fulfilling one of his longstanding campaign promises. TPS offers people from countries devastated by natural disasters, armed conflict, or other “extraordinary” conditions the opportunity to live and work legally in the United States.

The humanitarian crisis in Venezuela has only worsened since the Biden administration first granted TPS to Venezuelans last year. More than 6 million refugees and migrants have left the country as a result, according to the United Nations.

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