The Biden Administration Grants a “Temporary” 1.5 Year Amnesty to 320,000 Venezuelans
On March 8, 2021, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas announced that the Biden administration will be granting over 300,000 Venezuelans and foreign nationals whose last place of residence was Venezuela Temporary Protected Status (TPS), thus allowing them to stay and work in the United States for 18 months.
The individuals eligible for the Venezuelan TPS amnesty must reside in the U.S. by March 8. John Binder of Breitbart News reported that roughly “320,000 Venezuelans will benefit from the TPS designation.”
“The living conditions in Venezuela reveal a country in turmoil, unable to protect its own citizens,” Mayorkas declared in a statement. “It is in times of extraordinary and temporary circumstances like these that the United States steps forward to support eligible Venezuelan nationals already present here, while their home country seeks to right itself out of the current crises.”
Under the Venezuelan TPS, hundreds of thousands of foreign individuals will be allowed to acquire work permits to legally displace American workers.
Right before he exited the presidency, former President Donald Trump granted over 90,000 Venezuelans Deferred Enforced Departure (DED). Under this program, Venezuelans would be exempted from deportation orders for at least 18 months.
Binder explained how the TPS has transformed from its original “temporary” status to a form of back-door amnesty:
While originally intended to be temporary, TPS has become a quasi-amnesty for otherwise illegal aliens created under the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1990 (INA) that prevents the deportation of foreign nationals from countries that have suffered through famine, war, or natural disasters.
Since the Clinton administration, TPS has been transformed into a de facto amnesty program as the Bush, Obama, Trump, and now Biden administrations have continuously renewed and expanded the program for a variety of countries.
The situation in Venezuela is an economic and political tragedy of epic proportions. However, the U.S. is not morally obligated to open up the floodgates to hundreds of thousands, if not millions of refugees. Instead, U.S. policymakers should coordinate efforts with Venezuela’s neighbors to accept refugees and build a coalition to stabilize the situation in Venezuela.
Americans are still reeling from the lockdowns and there is no reason to bring an additional pool of foreign labor to potentially displace them.