“The Biden Administration Extends Temporary Protection to Nearly Half-Million Venezuelans – News21USA

Venezuelans Migrants, US News Today (News21USA) – In a significant move aimed at assisting asylum-seekers, the Biden administration has granted temporary legal status to 472,000 Venezuelan migrants already in the U.S., as the number of migrants at the southern border experiences a resurgence.

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, citing ongoing political instability in Venezuela that prevents safe returns, has extended the temporary legal status designation for Venezuelan migrants who arrived in the U.S. this year before July 31, by an additional 18 months.

This decision, made on Wednesday, has garnered praise from Democrats advocating for more support for asylum-seeking migrants. In contrast, congressional Republicans from Texas have criticized it, alleging that it will exacerbate unrest at the border.

U.S. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas stated, “The Biden administration is making the border invasion worse. This news will incentivize even more illegal aliens from Venezuela to come.”

Under this action, eligible Venezuelan migrants gain the ability to work in the U.S., joining the 242,700 Venezuelans who already qualified for temporary status prior to this announcement. Mayorkas clarified that Venezuelan migrants who arrived after July 31 will face deportation unless they have a valid legal basis to stay.

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Venezuela has experienced a severe political, economic, and humanitarian crisis over the past decade, leading over 7.3 million people to migrate, primarily to neighboring Latin American countries. More recently, there has been an uptick in Venezuelan migrants making their way to the U.S., often enduring the perilous journey through the treacherous Darien Gap, a remote jungle between Colombia and Panama known for its hazards and fatalities.

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Apprehensions at the U.S.-Mexico border surged in July and August, following a sharp drop in May and June, coinciding with the Biden administration’s implementation of a new policy requiring migrants en route to the U.S. border to first seek protection in Mexico. This policy was adopted by President Joe Biden after the expiration of Title 42, a COVID-19 pandemic measure that allowed the U.S. to expel migrants citing virus spread concerns.

Pressure has been mounting on the White House from Democratic mayors of major U.S. cities and governors, including New York Mayor Eric Adams, to take action permitting newly arrived migrants to work legally. Since spring 2022, over 116,000 asylum seekers have arrived in New York City.

Mayor Adams, who discussed the announcement with the White House, hailed it as “an important step that will bring hope to the thousands of Venezuelan asylum seekers currently in our care.”

New York Governor Kathy Hochul expressed gratitude for the swift action taken by the Biden administration and pledged the state’s readiness to initiate work authorization for migrants, emphasizing the need for further efforts to address the migrant crisis.

While some Republicans, such as Senator Marco Rubio and Representative Mario Diaz-Balart of Florida, have previously expressed support for granting temporary legal protection to Venezuelans, opinions within the Republican party are divided on this issue.

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Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava, a Democrat, lauded the Biden administration’s move, recognizing it as an opportunity for hundreds of thousands of families to build new lives and contribute to the community after fleeing dictatorship in search of freedom and opportunity.”

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