Senators Marco Rubio and Robert Menéndez asked the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Alejandro Mayorkas, to consider extending the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Venezuelans in the United States.
In a letter addressed to Mayorkas, the legislators explain that the conditions in Venezuela they would not allow immigrants from that country – who reside in the US – to return. The current work permit and temporary legal stay expire in September this year.
“Given the Maduro regime’s ongoing campaign of state violence against the people of Venezuela and the ongoing humanitarian crisis in the country, we ask that you re-designate Venezuela for TPS for an additional 18 months,” the senators wrote in the missive.
For legislators, removing this legal status “would result in a very real death sentence for the countless Venezuelans” who have fled and live in the US.
Both senators promoted the Temporary Protection Status Law of Venezuela in 2021, which led to granting a work permit to Venezuelans in the face of the “crisis caused by the Nicolás Maduro regime.”
When arguing the petition before Secretary Mayorkas, the senators detail the reports on human rights in the country carried out by the office of the United Nations (UN) that exposes in its most recent report that there is sufficient information indicating that “crimes against humanity” have been committed in the country.
“The International Fact Finding Mission documented that the Maduro regime carried out extrajudicial killings, disappearances, and torture of political opponents; in addition to criminalization, threats and stigmatization against activists, independent media and trade unionists”, explain the legislators.
According to reports from human rights organizations, the year 2021 closed in Venezuela with the arrest of at least 254 political prisoners and prisoners of conscience throughout the country.