This week, the House passed a bipartisan bill that would grant Temporary Protected Status to Venezuelans.
The TPS bill, which is sponsored by Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R) and Rep. Darren Soto (D), now heads to the U.S. Senate for consideration in time for the House to leave Washington for a six-week recess.
With a vote of 272 to 158, the bill would give Venezuelans not only the ability to live in the United States, but they would also have the ability to legally work in the country as well.
39 Republicans and one Independent joined the 232 Democrats in favor of the legislation, and the bill is considered the most significant legislative action to date in response to the humanitarian crisis that Venezuela is currently experiencing.
In response to the passing of the bill, Florida Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D) expressed that “Venezuela is in absolute crisis due to the cruel policies of the Maduro regime, and making Venezuelans in the U.S. go home right now is immoral.”
Moreover, Murphy added that “requiring people who have sought refuge in America to return to a failed state violates our core values as a nation.”
Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D) also praised the decision, noting that “if there is any population that meets the absolute statutory definition of being granted TPS, it is the Venezuelan people who have fled a dictator who is starving his own people.”
Rep. Soto, who has remained persistent on the issue, commented that “we all know the situation in Venezuela is dire.”
In addition, he asserted that “this is exactly the type of situation that necessitates the TPS program” because “Venezuelans are the largest asylum seekers of any nation as of the last couple of weeks. We have an estimated 170, 000 Venezuelans in Florida alone, many of whom have family members seeking asylum.”