Menendez on the Biden Administration’s Reported Action Granting Temporary Protected Status to Venezuelans

Menendez on Pompeo.

Menendez on the Biden Administration’s Reported Action Granting Temporary Protected Status to Venezuelans

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, issued the video and statement below in reaction to reports that Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas will provide Temporary Protected Status to Venezuelans in the United States.

“I want to thank President Biden for delivering on his promise to stand with the Venezuelan people. To keep deporting Venezuelans back to Maduro’s tragedy would be to tell them they are a burden on our communities, a menace to our national security, and an unwelcome guest in our country. Reality and our national interest are precisely the opposite,” said Chairman Menendez, who led legislation and the efforts to grant TPS for Venezuela in the Senate. “In standing with the Venezuelan people, we are striking a blow to the Maduro regime, which has for years deprived its own citizens of education, healthcare, basic freedoms, and even food. And we are sending a powerful signal to allies and competitors that the United States is once again committed to the cause of democracy.”

While former President Trump refused to grant Venezuelans TPS during his four years in office, Senate Republicans repeatedly blocked Democrats’ Venezuela Temporary Protected Status Act, denying legal protection to more than 300,000 Venezuelans in the United States and allowing the Trump administration to continue forcefully returning them back to the Maduro regime. As the top Democrat in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Menendez launched an investigation into the Trump administration’s treatment of Venezuelan immigrants which revealed the Administration was conducting stealth deportations of Venezuelan nationals in possible violation of U.S. law and policies. In 2019,  Senator Menendez visited Cúcuta on the Colombia-Venezuela border to review the impact of the Venezuelan refugee and migration crisis. During his visit to the border, Menendez visited facilities providing food, medical care, and temporary shelter to Venezuelan migrants.

Established by the U.S. Congress through the Immigration Act of 1990, TPS is a temporary, renewable program that provides relief from deportation and the opportunity to apply for a work permit for eligible foreign nationals from certain countries who are unable to return safely to their home country due to natural disasters, armed conflicts, or other extraordinary conditions.

 

Below are Chairman Menendez’s full comments:

 

“Hi, this is Senator Bob Menendez, the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Today is a great day.

After years of empty rhetoric from the previous administration, today’s decision to provide Temporary Protected Status to Venezuelans in the United States marks a major victory in our efforts to build a fair and humane immigration system.

As the Democrat who led these efforts in the United States Senate, I want to thank President Biden for delivering on his promise to stand with the Venezuelan people.

As a result of actions taken today, upwards of 300,000 Venezuelan women, men, and children will be protected from deportation and will no longer live in fear of being returned back to Maduro’s humanitarian catastrophe.

Eligible Venezuelans will receive temporary legal status, work authorization, and an opportunity to live in peace and security.  Our communities will be stronger, more resilient, and more vibrant.

To keep deporting Venezuelans back to Maduro’s tragedy would be to tell them they are a burden on our communities, a menace to our national security, and an unwelcome guest in our country. Reality and our national interest are precisely the opposite.

In standing with the Venezuelan people, we are striking a blow to the Maduro regime, which has for years deprived its own citizens of education, healthcare, basic freedoms, and even food.

And we are sending a powerful signal to allies and competitors that the United States is once again committed to the cause of democracy.

This is only the beginning. To our Venezuela-American brothers and sisters, this victory is yours. Adelante.”

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