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Press Release // Immigration and Asylum

Biden Administration Extends, Redesignates Venezuela for TPS

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Global Refuge Staff

September 24, 2023

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

September 20, 2023

Contact: Timothy Young | timothy.young@globalrefuge.org

Washington D.C. – Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas today announced the extension and redesignation of Venezuela for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 18 months, citing “increased instability and lack of safety due to the enduring humanitarian, security, political, and environmental conditions.” The decision will enable Venezuelan nationals currently residing in the United States before July 31, 2023 to benefit from TPS, shielding them from deportations and allowing them to work legally.

In expanding access to these protections, the Biden administration makes newly eligible 472,000 nationals of Venezuela, in addition to 242,700 current beneficiaries under Venezuela’s existing TPS designation.

The administration’s decision comes amid mounting pressure from local leaders, in cities such as New York, to grant asylum seekers legal status so that they can work legally more quickly, thereby reducing reliance on local services. Under current law, those seeking humanitarian protection may not apply for work authorization until six months after filing for asylum.

DHS also announced today another series of actions to increase enforcement across the Southwest Border and accelerate processing of work authorizations.

The following is a statement by Krish O’Mara Vignarajah, President and CEO of Global Refuge:

“Providing temporary safe haven and expedited access to work authorization is a monumental step in the right direction. The Biden administration should be commended for taking bold action to protect an unprecedented number of people from the prospect of return to dire humanitarian circumstances in Venezuela. A tremendous weight has been temporarily lifted off the shoulders of more than half a million mothers, fathers, and children.”

“This decision further demonstrates the administration’s willingness to work alongside local and state leaders to find solutions that benefit both vulnerable populations and the communities receiving them. The move is also an important recognition that these new arrivals are ready and poised to make significant contributions to our nation’s workforce as we continue to grapple with widespread labor shortages. Like so many before them, Venezuelans are not looking for a handout, but rather, the chance to become self-sufficient and find their own share of the American Dream.”

“While this is a welcome reprieve for so many, it also underscores the continued need for Congress to act on immigration reform. Elected officials must come to the table in good faith and align our immigration system with the humanitarian values and economic needs of our nation.”

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