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About 190 organizations asked on Thursday President Joe Biden’s administration to extend beyond next September the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) that can benefit a total of 323,000 Venezuelans in the United States.
A coalition formed by these local and national civil and pro-immigrant organizations asked in a letter sent to Biden for an 18-month extension arguing that conditions in Venezuela have worsened and also pointing out delays in the procedures in charge of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
In March 2021, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) designated Venezuela, for 18 months, as a country within the TPS immigration program by which the United States grants temporary stay and work permits to people from countries where there are natural disasters or violence.
This term expires next September and USCIS is still pending the processing of 202,219 Venezuelans who have requested this protection, according to the organizations gathered in the TPS-DED Administrative Advocacy Coalition.
The delays in processing “have caused a serious impact on Venezuelans who are denied essential resources, health care and driver’s licenses, and (they) suffer due to prolonged unemployment and fear of deportation,” it said.
According to Adelys Ferro, director of the Venezuelan American Caucus, “the current crisis in Venezuela has impacted millions, leading to one of the worst humanitarian crises in this hemisphere and the world.”
“Conditions in Venezuela continue, and in some cases have worsened since the country was initially designated for TPS,” Ferro added.
Yanira Arias of Alianza Americas said that “it is imperative that the government take into account the extreme delays and disadvantages that applicants face, and that it eliminate the TPS application and work permit fees.”