Senate Republicans Block Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Venezuelans — Congress Will Go Into Recess Without Passing the Bill

On July 25th, 2019, the House of Representatives passed a TPS for Venezuelans by a margin of 272-158 — a rare bit of good news for immigrant rights in the Trump era. Unfortunately, the bill has now been stopped in its tracks. According to reporting from the Miami Herald, Senate Republicans have, at least for the time being, blocked a measure that would provide Temporary Protected Status for immigrants from Venezuela. 

Earlier this week, Senators Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) and Robert Menendez (D-New Jersey) moved to pass the bill through the chamber by unanimous consent. However, Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) opposed the measure. Despite some bipartisan support, including from the bill’s co-sponsor Senator Marco Rubio (R-Florida), Congress will now go into a six-week recess without passing protections for Venezuelan immigrants. 

Temporary Protected Status (TPS): Understanding the Basics

As described by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), Temporary Protected Status or TPS can be designated when a country is deemed to be too unsafe for the United States to return immigrants. TPS may be extended in a number of different specific situations, from civil wars and armed conflicts to earthquakes or other natural disasters. 

Individuals who are eligible for TPS are granted much needed rights and protections. First, they cannot be removed from the United States while they have valid TPS. Second, they will get the temporary authorization to obtain employment within the United States. Finally, in some circumstances, TPS-holders may also be permitted to travel abroad. 

In recent years, Venezuela has seen a total collapse of its economy, extreme inflation, rising violence, and serious internal political strife. In light of the current situation on the ground in Venezuela, it should be clear and obvious to everyone that Venezuelan immigrants desperately need Temporary Protected Status. No immigrant should ever be removed from the United States and sent to a country that is unsafe and unstable. 

The Trump Administration has Repeatedly Rolled Back Immigration Protections

Since assuming office, President Trump has proposed a seemingly endless number of policies and changes to curtail immigrants rights — including attempting to remove Temporary Protected Status for several groups. Early last year, the Trump Administration took action to end Temporary Protected Status for Salvadoran immigrants — a move that would impact many families in the Los Angeles region. Additionally, President Trump has also attempted to cut off TPS for other immigrants, including for Haitians. These issues are currently still being litigated. It is crucial that we all keep a close watch on any developments related to TPS protections. 

Discuss Your Case With a Southern California Immigration Attorney Today

At the Goldstein Immigration Lawyers, our Los Angeles, CA immigration lawyer has the skills and legal knowledge needed to handle Temporary Protected Status (TPS) cases. If you have questions or concerns about your immigration rights, please reach out to us today for a completely confidential review of your claim.