We are closely monitoring news regarding the Venezuela TPS Act of 2019 (H.R. 549), introduced by Representatives Darren Soto (D-FL) and Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Florida) on January 15, 2019. TPS, or Temporary Protected Status, is granted by the Secretary of the US Department of Homeland Security to eligible foreign-born individuals who are unable to return home safely due to conditions or circumstances preventing their country from adequately handling the return. The Secretary can designate a country for TPS due to ongoing armed conflict, an environmental disaster, or other extraordinary and temporary conditions. The Venezuela TPS Act of 2019 would designate Venezuela for TPS, allowing certain Venezuelan nationals to stay in the United States, regardless of their current immigration status. While the total number of individuals who would be eligible for TPS under H.R. 549 is unclear, about 72,000 Venezuelans have entered the United States since 2014. The bill is almost identical to one introduced in the Senate on February 28, 2019.
Venezuela has been facing unprecedented economic, humanitarian, security, and refugee crises, consisting of extreme shortages of food and medicine, severe infant and child malnutrition, rampant crime, and government-sponsored repression. According to the 2018 Global Law and Order report (Gallup), Venezuela ranks as the most dangerous country in the world.
TPS holders contribute to the United States economy. For example, TPS holders from El Salvador, Honduras, and Haiti contribute $4.5 billion in income to the gross domestic product annually.
The Lewis Kappes Immigration Law Group supports the designation of Venezuela for TPS, and our attorneys look forward to the opportunity to work with the Venezuelan community in Central Indiana should this occur.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding the Venezuela TPS Act of 2019 please reach out to Immigration Attorney Sarah Burrow.