With congressional Democrats completely focused on impeaching President Donald Trump, it appears as if Congress has stalled.
Both Senate and House Democrats have been calling for the Senate and President Trump to push through TPS for Venezuelans, but now those very same Democrats have blocked TPS not once, but twice.
Early this summer, Senate Democrats rejected a Republican version of Venezuelan TPS.
Senators Scott and Rubio joined Democrat Senators Bob Menendez, Cory Booker, Dick Durbin, and Patrick Leahy to reintroduce the “Venezuela Temporary Protected Status and Asylum Assistance Act,” but has not yet signed on as co-sponsor for the Venezuela Temporary Protected Status Act of 2019.
Now, Senate Democrats have blocked Florida Senator Rick Scott’s amendment that would grant TPS for Venezuelans.
Democrats have rejected the amendment because Scott’s amendment called for congressional oversight or review for TPS designated countries every two years, saying that it was a move to completely overhaul the existing TPS immigration system.
Scott addressed the Democratic objection to his amendment on the Senate floor, calling the move “shameful” and proof-positive that they have “no interest in actually getting something done” on the issue.
Scott added that Democrats are using the “Venezuelan community as a political prop.”
Senator Scott’s amendment to Rep. Diaz-Balart’s House-passed TPS bill:
- Grants TPS to Venezuelans for 18 months;
- Requires Congressional approval for TPS extensions, no more than 18 months at a time;
- Limits the ability of illegal aliens with no connection to the TPS designation to benefit from TPS;
- Ensures that human rights violators identified under the Magnitsky Act are not eligible for TPS;
- Includes provisions to distinguish that TPS does not count as an admission for purposes of the Immigration and Nationality Act;
- Prevents TPS recipients from returning to the TPS country during the period of designation;
- And requires current TPS designations will come up for Congressional review two years after the enactment of this amendment.