As tensions rise in Venezuela with the countless calls of having Nicolas Maduro step down as the country’s President, Florida Senators Marco Rubio and Rick Scott are calling for Venezuelans fleeing the country to have temporary protected status.
In a bipartisan effort, Senators Scott and Rubio join Democrat Senators Bob Menendez, Cory Booker, Dick Durbin and Patrick Leahy to reintroduce the “Venezuela Temporary Protected Status and Asylum Assistance Act.”
The bill was first introduced last year in December by Senator Rubio and Senator Menendez.
Last Thursday, Senator Rubio commented on his support for the measure, explaining that “while Maduro’s narcoterrorist regime continues to commit senseless acts of violence against the Venezuelan people, it is clear that the conditions on the ground warrants granting temporary protected status to Venezuelan nationals residing in the U.S.” Rubio added that “this temporary solution will ensure the continued safety of Venezuelans currently in the U.S. as we work with the international community to support the legitimate government in their effort to restore democracy.”
A companion measure is also being pushed in the House, and it’s being led by Republican rep. Mario Diaz-Balart and Democrat rep. Darren Soto.
Senator Rubio’s office also commented on the importance of Venezuelans receiving TPS in the United States, stressing that Venezuelans are “fleeing the dire conditions in their homeland.” Thus, the bill would “provide support for migration systems in the countries surrounding Venezuela.”
As explained by Rubio’s office, TPS was “established by the U.S. Congress through the Immigration Act of 1990.” In addition, it “is a temporary, renewable program that provides relief from deportation and access to a work permit for foreign nationals from certain countries who are unable to safely return to their home country due to natural disasters, armed conflicts or other extraordinary conditions.”
Senator Rubio is the chairman of the U.S. Senate Western Hemisphere, Transnational Crime, Civilian Security, Democracy, Human Rights and Global Women’s Issues Subcommittee.