Florida lawmakers Mario Diaz-Balart (R) and Donna Shalala (D) have joined in a bipartisan effort to introduce the Nicaraguan TPS Act of 2019.
Taking to social media to explain her thoughts on why TPS extension needs to be provided for the people of Nicaragua, rep. Shalala expressed on Instagram that “as Ortega continues to intimidate & persecute innocent civilians in Nicaragua, the U.S. must stand stall as a beacon of hope and open its arms to welcome the oppressed.”
Working alongside Diaz-Balart., Shalala added that “extending TPS for Nicaraguans is the right thing to do,” but she’s also committed to providing TPS status to Venezuelans during the crisis that they’re currently experiencing in their country. As well, the freshman lawmaker is committed to extending TPS status to people from El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras “and other groups currently designated for TPS.”
In a statement released on why he’s championing this bill, Diaz-Balart noted that Nicaragua is facing economic hardships and growing chaos within the country, declaring that “Ortega and his thugs must go.”
The Florida Republican explained that “the Nicaraguan people are demanding free, fair, multiparty elections and a government free of crime and corruption that respects basic human rights and liberties. Until that happens, I strongly support the Trump administration’s demonstrations of strong solidarity with the Nicaraguan people through robust sanctions against those who corrupt Nicaragua’s democratic institutions or perpetrate human rights abuses.”
Diaz-Balart also asserted that the United States “must demonstrate our solidarity with the Nicaraguan people by extending protection to those Nicaraguans who have found a safe haven in the United States. The Nicaraguan people will remember that the United States stood with them in their time of greatest need.”
The bill was sent to the U.S. House Judiciary Committee this week, and there is no counterpart in the U.S. Senate.