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The US is allowing hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans in the country to work legally

by Andrew Wright
3 comments
Venezuelan migrants' legal status

The United States is taking significant steps in addressing the influx of Venezuelan migrants and asylum seekers by granting temporary legal status to hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans already residing in the country. This move, announced by the Biden administration, aims to provide expedited access to work permits for these individuals. It serves as a response to the growing numbers of people escaping the dire situation in Venezuela and arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border.

This initiative is expected to resonate positively with Democratic leaders who have been urging the White House to do more for asylum seekers. However, it also provides fodder for Republican critics who contend that President Joe Biden has been too lenient on immigration matters.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security plans to extend Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to approximately 472,000 Venezuelans who were in the country as of July 31. This measure is particularly essential for Democratic mayors and governors who are grappling with the challenges of accommodating an increased number of migrants.

It’s noteworthy that this extension complements the existing TPS status already held by about 242,700 Venezuelans prior to this announcement.

The significance of these protections for Venezuelans cannot be understated, as they constitute a substantial portion of recent migrants arriving in the United States. Venezuela’s long-standing political, economic, and humanitarian crisis has forced an estimated 7.3 million people to seek refuge elsewhere, with many journeying to neighboring Latin American countries. In recent years, a growing number have risked the perilous Darien Gap in Panama to reach the United States.

It’s important to note that Venezuelans who arrive in the U.S. after July 31, 2023, will not be eligible for these protections. Those who meet the eligibility criteria must apply to receive them.

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas justified this extension by citing Venezuela’s ongoing instability and the lack of safety due to persistent humanitarian, security, political, and environmental challenges.

Furthermore, the Biden administration has committed to streamlining work authorizations for individuals who have arrived in the U.S. since January. This will be facilitated through a mobile app for appointments at land crossings with Mexico called CBP One, or through parole granted to Cubans, Haitians, Nicaraguans, and Venezuelans who have financial sponsors and arrive at an airport. The aim is to provide work permits within 30 days, a significant improvement compared to the current processing time of around 90 days.

It’s essential to note that this expedited work permit process does not apply to individuals who cross the border illegally and seek asylum. By law, such individuals must wait for six months to receive work permits.

Mayors and governors across the country have been urging the Biden administration to find ways to enable newly arrived migrants to work legally so they can support themselves. This has become a pressing concern, especially in cities like New York, where the government is mandated to provide housing for those in need.

In response to the announcement, New York Governor Kathy Hochul expressed gratitude for the federal government’s swift action in granting Temporary Protected Status to Venezuelan asylum seekers and migrants already in the country. Mayor Eric Adams, despite previous criticism of the administration’s immigration policies, also commended the decision to protect Venezuelans and thanked the administration for addressing the city’s concerns.

The United States continues to grapple with a rising number of migrants attempting to cross the southern border, presenting a formidable challenge for the administration. In response, the city of Eagle Pass, Texas, declared a state of emergency due to a surge in undocumented immigrant crossings.

To address these challenges, the administration has deployed Defense Department forces to support Homeland Security staff on the border. This includes the assignment of up to 800 new active-duty troops to assist with logistics and other tasks, freeing up Customs officials for frontline responsibilities.

Homeland Security has also taken other measures, such as expanding a process initiated in May to rapidly deport families found to have no legal basis to stay in the country. Additionally, the agency has increased holding capacity along the southern border and intensified efforts to expel individuals from the country, removing over 253,000 people to more than 150 countries around the world since May 12. This marks a notable increase compared to the same period in 2019, reflecting the evolving challenges of immigration management.

This comprehensive approach seeks to address the multifaceted challenges posed by the influx of migrants and asylum seekers while considering humanitarian and security concerns.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Venezuelan migrants’ legal status

What is Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Venezuelan migrants in the US?

Temporary Protected Status (TPS) is a legal designation granted by the US government to foreign nationals from countries experiencing ongoing armed conflict, environmental disasters, or other extraordinary conditions. In this case, it’s being extended to Venezuelan migrants due to the enduring humanitarian, security, political, and environmental challenges in Venezuela.

How many Venezuelans will benefit from this TPS extension?

Approximately 472,000 Venezuelans who were in the United States as of July 31, along with an additional 242,700 who already had temporary status before this announcement, will benefit from this TPS extension.

What are the advantages of TPS for these migrants?

TPS provides temporary legal status, protecting recipients from deportation and allowing them to work legally in the United States. It offers stability and security to individuals fleeing dire circumstances in their home country.

Is there a deadline for applying for TPS under this extension?

Yes, those eligible for TPS must apply to receive it. It’s important to note that Venezuelans who arrive in the US after July 31, 2023, will not be eligible for this protection.

How is the Biden administration addressing the challenges posed by increasing immigration?

In addition to extending TPS to Venezuelan migrants, the Biden administration aims to expedite work authorizations for recent arrivals, particularly through a mobile app for appointments at land crossings with Mexico. This initiative seeks to provide work permits within 30 days, a significant improvement over the current processing time of around 90 days.

What are the concerns of mayors and governors regarding newly arrived migrants?

Mayors and governors have been urging the Biden administration to find ways for newly arrived migrants to work legally, allowing them to support themselves. This concern is particularly significant in cities like New York, where the government is obligated to provide housing for those in need.

How is the Biden administration addressing the situation at the southern border?

To address the challenges at the southern border, the administration is deploying Defense Department forces to support Homeland Security staff. This includes assigning up to 800 new active-duty troops for tasks like logistics, freeing up Customs officials for frontline responsibilities. Additionally, the administration is expanding processes for rapid deportations of families found to have no legal basis to stay in the country, increasing holding capacity along the southern border, and intensifying efforts to expel individuals from the country who do not meet legal criteria for staying.

What is the significance of this TPS extension for Venezuelans?

The TPS extension for Venezuelans is significant because it offers a lifeline to a large number of migrants fleeing Venezuela’s political, economic, and humanitarian crisis. It not only provides legal status and work authorization but also acknowledges the challenges faced by those escaping dire conditions in their home country.

More about Venezuelan migrants’ legal status

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3 comments

SeriousTalker2023 September 21, 2023 - 12:34 pm

Biden, Dems, Repubs – they all talkin’ ’bout this. Mayors, gov’ners, and migrants – everyone in this mess. But these troops at the border, sounds kinda intense, man.

Reply
NYCObserver September 21, 2023 - 8:28 pm

So, NYC’s payin’ for 60k migrants’ housing? That’s a lotta moolah. Hochul seems happy though. I guess it’s somethin’.

Reply
JohnDoe123 September 22, 2023 - 4:36 am

Woah, this TPS thing sounds kinda important for those Venzuelans, like, they get to stay and work, good stuff!

Reply

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