Soto Takes Issue With Sloppy Venezuela TPS Story, Fails To Credit Scott And Rubio

Soto Takes Issue With Sloppy Venezuela TPS Story, Fails To Credit Scott And Rubio

Javier Manjarres
Javier Manjarres
March 10, 2021

President Joe Biden has just done for the Venezuelan community what President Donald Trump refused to do —pass Temporary Protection Status for 320,000 Venezuelans, or Venezuela TPS, living in the U.S.

One of the first Florida legislators along with former Sen. Bill Nelson (D) and Senator Marco Rubio (R), and Mario Diaz-Balart (R), who has called for some form of TPS for Venezuelans fleeing the criminal Nicholas Maduro regime in Venezuela, is Rep. Darren Soto (D).

But a recent Miami Herald story that posted on a Zoom call that Florida Reps. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D), Ted Deutch (D), Stephanie Murphy, and Rep. Soto were on to address President Biden’s TPS edict, has left a bad taste in Soto’s mouth.

Soto called the story “pretty sloppy,” presumably because he was not credited for having taken part in introducing the House TPS for Venezuela he has sponsored.

Soto did not single-handily sponsor H.R. 549, the Venezuela TPS Act of 2019 that passed in the House of Representatives, he co-sponsored it with Rep. Diaz-Balart.

In addition, Soto also appears to take issue with the story for not mentioning those Republicans and Democrats who he said “helped” on the issue,  saying he did so along with Ambassador Carlos Vecchio.

He did.

Soto did say that when he first co-sponsored the TPS bill it was with the help of former Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R) and Rep. Diaz-Balart, as well as the other Democratic legislators on the call.

Ambassador Vecchio did also acknowledge Republicans who have helped the overall TPS cause but went further than Soto by thanking Florida Senators Rick Scott and Rubio for their efforts.

"In 2018, I became the main sponsor and was joined by them as well as Representatives Mucarsel-Powell and Shalala, and that year we passed the legislation out of the US house with some bipartisan support."- Rep. Darren Soto

Here is Soto's legislative press release crediting bill co-sponsor Diaz-Balart:

Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 549, the Venezuela TPS Act of 2019, authored by Reps. Darren Soto (FL-09) and Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25), with support from every House Democrat and 39 Republicans. The legislation designates Venezuela for Temporary Protected Status (TPS), protecting approximately 200,000 Venezuelan nationals in the United States from deportation.

Democrats like Reps. Soto and Wasserman Schultz have always made it a point to not credit Rubio or Scott, particularly Scott, you just last year tried to alter the TPS program with an amendment in the Senate.

According to Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ), who has framed anti-Cuba and TPS for Venezuela legislation with Rubio, Sen Scott’s attempted to undermine the program by attempting to make the current, broader TPS program “temporary” and not permanent.

“We have to act, but we also need to be responsible,” Sen. Scott said on the Senate floor. “The courts have basically made a temporary program permanent, which is not sustainable. The amendment grants TPS to Venezuelans for 18 months. It requires congressional approval for TPS extensions for no more than 18 months at a time.”

The Herald Story corroborated what Sen.Menendez’s release  stated about Scott’s TPS measure, and noted that Senate Democrats blocked his proposal to make the TPS program sustainable.”

“Scott attempted to pass TPS for Venezuela in 2019 on the Senate floor by adding an amendment to review the status of TPS designated countries every two years as a way to appease conservatives. Democrats blocked his proposal.”- Miami Herald

Shortly after Biden made his announcement, Scott took a victory lap, stating “Great news! For years I've been calling for TPS for Venezuelans escaping @NicolasMaduro’s murderous regime,” adding that he applauds “today's action by the Biden Admin to grant this. The U.S. stands with the people of Venezuela fighting for freedom”

Soto does have a viable beef with the Herald because it did not even mention in the story, not even once, and was only referred to as one of the  “local Democrats” that “took credit on Tuesday for getting TPS done without acknowledging the efforts of Republican



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Javier Manjarres

Javier Manjarres

Javier Manjarres is a nationally renowned award-winning political journalist and Publisher of,,, and He enjoys traveling, playing soccer, mixed martial arts, weight-lifting, swimming, and biking. Javier is also a political consultant and has also authored "BROWN PEOPLE," which is a book about Hispanic Politics. Follow on Twitter: @JavManjarres Email him at

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