Democrats and Florida Republicans were quick to welcome the Biden administrations move to offer relief to eligible Venezuelans as the country remains in crisis.
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, Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), who has led multiple efforts
to secure TPS for Venezuelans, said in a video statement. And we are sending a powerful signal to allies and competitors that the United States is once again committed to the cause of democracy.
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), a longtime supporter of allowing Venezuelans to live and work legally in the U.S., reminded that Trump had first offered Venezuelans protection and said he was glad the Biden administration shares that commitment.
Last month, Colombia also granted temporary legal status to nearly 1 million Venezuelan migrants in the South American neighboring country.
Extending the status to Venezuelans would protect about 200,000 Venezuelan citizens in the U.S. from deportation, according to estimates from the Congressional Budget Office.
TPS is used to protect immigrants who come from countries devastated by natural disasters or armed conflict. Its the same temporary legal status the Trump administration announced it would phase out in 2018 for more than 300,000 immigrants from El Salvador, Nicaragua, Haiti, Honduras, Sudan and Nepal over the next few years. Under Bidens immigration plan, which faces an uphill battle on Capitol Hill, TPS recipients would be eligible for automatic green cards.
The Biden administrations plan was first reported by The Los Angeles Times.