Author: Jameel Manji, Founder, Manji Law, P.C.
Mr. Manji founded Manji Law in 2016 to follow his passion of helping people navigate the complicated immigration system. Mr. Manji graduated from Georgia State University College of Law and received Master of Taxation from Georgia State’s J. Mack Robinson College of Business. Published on: August 1, 2019, Last Updated on: March 11, 2021.
TPS Venezuela or Temporary Protected Status for Venezuelans has been a hot topic in the news recently. On this page, the attorneys at Manji Law break down everything you need to know about this issue.
If you have questions about the new Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) policy for Venezuelans, you can read more here.
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Venezuela TPS in 2021
As of March 2021, the Biden administration has granted Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Venezuelans. This is long-awaited news for the over 320,000 Venezuelans who are currently in the United States. For those without status, many will now be able to live without fear of deportation, be able to travel, and get work permits for the next 18 months (through September 2022).
The first step to accessing these benefits is to apply for the status. For Venezuelans living in the U.S. who want to apply for TPS, it is important to show physical presence in the United States from March 8, 2020 and going forward if renewals are made available. This is usually the hardest piece of evidence to produce when applying for TPS. There are various items that can be submitted to prove physical presence, including but not limited to U.S. tax documents, school records, or bills.
People may apply for Temporary Protected Status immediately as of March 9, 2021 and up until September 5, 2021. Do not wait. Get help today from a licensed immigration attorney at Manji Law. This is too important of an opportunity to miss!
What is Temporary Protected Status (TPS)?
According to the USCIS, the Secretary of Homeland Security can grant TPS or temporary protected status to eligible countries and their citizens if their country is affected by certain emergencies, armed conflicts, or environmental disasters. That means their safe return is currently unable, or their country is unable to handle their return adequately. TPS is a short-term benefit and not a permanent resident status.
Temporary protected status (TPS) can also be granted to eligible individuals who are already in the United States. TPS allows eligible beneficiaries to live and work in the United States during the time of the crisis in their country, without fear of being placed into removal proceedings. Also, they can’t be detained by the Department of Homeland Security because of their immigration status in the United States. In addition, registration for TPS doesn’t prevent beneficiaries from applying for nonimmigrant status, file for adjustment of status, or apply for an immigration benefit. It’s also important to note that denial of an application for asylum doesn’t affect the ability to register for TPS, although it may lead to denial of TPS.
Prior to passing TPS in 2021, a bipartisan bill known as TPS H.R. 549 was proposed in 2019. If passed, it would have provided TPS for those fleeing the humanitarian crisis in Venezuela. The bill acknowledged that conditions exist that prohibit its residents to safely return. Proponents listed the issues as ranging from increasing repression from the federal government, armed dispute, and natural disasters to an overall lack of food and medications.
At that point, El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Syria, and Yemen were the countries designated for TPS. Now that the bill designating Venezuelans as eligible for TPS under section 244 of the Immigration and Nationality Act has passed, Venezuela joins that list.
For a more thorough understanding of TPS and what you can do to get help, reach out to a Georgia immigration attorney from Manji Law.
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Venezuela TPS Support
The Venezuela TPS Act of 2019 was sponsored by two Florida Democrats, Representatives Darren Soto and Mario Diaz-Balart along with Florida Republican Marco Rubio. The Bill had widespread support among other Democrats, including notable vocal supporters, Representatives Dick Durbin from Illinois, and Patrick Leahy from Vermont.
They asserted that the crisis in the country resulted in “extraordinary and temporary conditions” that make it difficult or even impossible for Venezuelan citizens to safely return to their country. This is one of the primary categories for receiving TPS.
However, although being aware of the situation in Venezuela, the Trump administration did not offer any human rights protection to Venezuelan nationals at that time.
If you are seeking asylum or would like to relocate to the United States, a Georgia immigration lawyer knowledgeable about the issues can be of assistance.
Confused by TPS for Venezuelan nationals?
TPS for Venezuelans Under the Trump Administration
Former President Trump’s administration was a strong critic of granting TPS for Venezuelans. This is even though the former President had vocally disapproved of the Venezuelan socialist federal government and was aware of the intensifying humanitarian crisis in the oil-rich country.
Because of the court processes and debate around the 2019 TPS for Venezuela bill, USCIS was compelled to issue a notice that the validity of TPS for beneficiaries from Sudan, Nicaragua, Haiti, and El Salvador will be extended through January 2021 from previous expiration dates.
Cubans, Venezuelans and other individuals from Latin America fleeing from regimes in their countries had been blocked from the usual asylum process by policies of the Trump administration. These policies required them to wait for asylum claims in Mexico or other countries. While waiting, they face various difficulties such as gaining help from a qualified legal representation. Others are being detained in the United States detention facilities.
Venezuelans and other individuals or families wanting to immigrate to the U.S. should schedule an appointment with an attorney who has experience navigating the Atlanta immigration court system.
Here to Help with TPS for Venezuelans
Venezuela Immigration Crisis Facts
Senators cited the 2016 Ministry of Health information to illustrate the Venezuela immigration crisis. Reports of violent incidents collected by Venezuela’s Observatory of Violence documented a 65-percent increase in maternal deaths and a 30-percent increase in infant mortality. The murder rate struck 89 per 100,000 residents.
In the following years, the situation hasn’t improved. Venezuela 2018 human rights report stated that human rights in that country are abused and that these issues include killings, torture, and life-threatening prison conditions. Despite that and similar other reports, the Trump administration has continued to deport Venezuelans from the United States back to their country.
A trustworthy lawyer like Jameel Manji who is well versed in all aspects of immigration law can help you understand what is going on with TPS for Venezuelans in real-time and answer questions about how it may affect you or your family.
Understanding Venezuela Immigration to the United States
There are many factors involved when considering immigration to the U.S. including your country of origin, family situation, criminal record, and much more. To best understand your options and the latest changes in the U.S. immigration system, visit an immigration office in Georgia.
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Let our experienced and responsive legal team help you navigate the immigration system.
What Did the Venezuela TPS Act of 2019 Entail?
Venezuela TPS Act of 2019 would not have ensured irreversible legal resident status for those seeking asylum. It would, however, enabled recipients to lawfully work in the United States.
To qualify, Venezuelans would need to be in the United States at the time that H.R. 549 became a law, had it been passed. Recipients of TPS would require the approval of the Secretary of Homeland Security to leave the country for any reason. Upon their return, they would be dealt with like any other foreign individual.
To get the best legal advice and advocacy through this confusing process, contact us at Manji Law.
Timeline of TPS for Venezuela
The Venezuela TPS Act of 2019 was initially introduced on January 15, 2019. On July 23, 2019, the fast-track version of the bill was voted down by Republican politicians.
July 25, 2019, H.R. 549 passed in the House of Representatives and was sent to the Senate. There, it was read two times and then referred to the Committee on the Judiciary. A committee issued a report on the bill, which can provide helpful background on the issue. However, Senate Republicans blocked a vote on whether to grant temporary protected status (TPS) to Venezuelan nationals who fled Venezuela.
Senator Bob Menendez, D-N.J., and Dick Durbin, D-Ill., tried to pass the House’s bill by unanimous consent to expedite the process and get it passed quickly, but Senator Mike Lee, R-Utah, opposed the request. Since a senator objected, a request was rejected. Since the beginning of 2020, the bill has been considered by Communications and Technology in March, and by House Committee on Energy and Commerce in July.
Ultimately, the 2019 bill was not passed. At the end of his term, former President Trump passed DED for Venezuelans, which offered some protection. TPS was not enacted for Venezuelan nationals until March 2021.
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