Biden administration to offer thousands of Venezuelans temporary protections
The Biden administration plans to offer nearly a half-million Venezuelan nationals temporary permission to live and work in the country legally, the Department of Homeland Security announced Wednesday night.
Driving the news: DHS plans to extend Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to Venezuelan migrants who arrived by July 31, 2023.
- Venezuelans currently qualify for TPS if they arrived by March 8, 2021.
- The department expects some 472,000 Venezuelans will become newly eligible for TPS under the latest designation.
Why it matters: Expanding who qualified for temporary protections was one of several asks politicians in blue states made to the Biden administration so migrants in shelter could start working sooner.
- Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) called on the federal government to extend TPS for Venezuelans last week while she and other lawmakers visited the Roosevelt Hotel in New York, which is housing some 850 migrants families.
Flashback: Congress created TPS in 1990 to offer protections to migrants fleeing natural disasters or war in their home countries.
- The protections typically last two years at a time, though the federal government has authorized TPS holders from various countries to renew their protections several times.
The big picture: More than 7.3 million people have fled Venezuela in recent years, according to the United Nations.